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February 11, 2020 3 min read

I just officially entered the empty nest years this past Thanksgiving, when my husband and I moved our 23-year-old daughter from Southern California to Northern Virginia to begin her career as a Registered Nurse.

Long Distance Had Become Familiar...But It had Always Had an End

She had attended college on the East Coast for many years, and came home at Christmas and for the summer...but this? This was the beginning of a completely new chapter. All the while leading up to the trip, I kept hearing myself saying to friends,

"This is what we raised her to do...",

"We raise them to be confident and independent, so they may fly..."

and, "I am so proud of her."

And, all these statements were true. Except… when I had to turn around and leave her there.

The emotions were so strong they surprised me.

I was a complete, blubbering mess. So much for this is what we raised her to do. I don’t really feel that way now, but the trip back to California and the days to follow were not my highest moments.

She was safe, thriving and loved

My daughter chose Virginia for several reasons:fantastic job offers,several college friends in the same area, anda wonderful boyfriend and his family nearby.

She was offered a wonderful place to live with a former college roommate’s parents. She accepted the job offer and moved into a great home. We spent a few days with her new “house mom” while I was there, and she and her husband are a very loving, kind Catholic family.

A Gift From the Heart to her home away from home

A couple of months after my daughter moved in, I wanted to send the family she lives with a special gift, but I wasn’t sure just what it could be. I wanted it to be something really touching, so I took some time to shop and do some research on line. I came across an amazing website with the most gorgeous Catholic accessories and home goods for a heartfelt life”. That was perfect! I looked at the items on their website and found so many beautiful faith-based items that I didn’t know which one to get. I finally made the decision to purchase the hand-carved alabaster prayer candle, which reminds us of the alabaster jar of perfume Mary Magdalene used to anoint Jesus by breaking the jar at his feet, washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. The image of this beautiful, loving moment between Mary Magdalene and Jesus made me feel this was the perfect gift for a wonderful family offering a home away from home for my daughter.


Upon receiving the gift in the mail last week, my new friend sent me the following text:

“The most beautiful gift arrived today. From the box to the wrapping, it made us feel so special. Thank you for the candle and beautiful alabaster jar. They are simply lovely. We will enjoy and think of you every time we light it.”

I knew I made the right choice with this gift from House of Royals. That's exactly the idea I hoped for...that we think of each other every time we light it, and send a prayer to heaven for our loved ones.

I miss my daughter every moment of every day, but I am grateful that God is leading her, and that this Valentine's Day my little girl will feel my love, even from afar. So, while my husband and I have each other and a special son and daughter-in-law we love locally, our hearts will feel less alone because we will also be with her, represented by the luminary I sent to her home away from home.

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