Draging My Heart Behind A Nissan Sentra

It was two nights before the end of the year - Rainy, windy and with the threat of flooding down every roadway. Regardless, bad weather wasn't on the mind of our youngest daughter; it was her wedding night and she was climbing into the red Sentra to begin a new chapter in her life.

As she settled in and smiled back at us through the window her husband moved the shifter into gear and the little Nissan jerked forward, pulling tension on the strings of soda cans hanging from the bumper. And as the tail lights blurred and disappeared into the rainy darkness Sarah and I became Empty-Nesters. In our minds we understood the joy and necessity of this event - But in our hearts we felt the tug as the Sentra pulled her away from us.

The wedding timing was a great blessing, as we had just enjoyed the holiday season together as a family. But the now they where all heading out to continue their own lives, leaving us alone.

Raising five children forces creative budgeting, particularly around the holidays; we used the gift exchange as a money saving device and a way to engage in fun in our family room. As parents we were always impressed with the creativity and humor that our children demonstrated during the annual gift swap. Then, as our nest emptied, we found fewer and fewer in the family room during the gift exchange, and now the idea of losing this tradition all together added to the loss we felt as the honeymooners rolled away.

Five-years later, we have adjusted to our lifestyle as a couple rather than a group. And we have found a new way to keep the gift exchange alive - We call it AlbinoPhant, an online white elephant gift exchange party. The site was created because of what happened to us on that windy night and a heart-felt tug to keep us all connected.

Today, Sarah and I share gifts, creative banter and many hours on the internet with our children and grandchildren; using AlbinoPhant as our sharing conduit.

Looking back, that little red Nissan Sentra really pulled our hearts away from potential emptiness and into a way to stay connected and to share gift giving traditions, even from a distance.

If your story is similar to ours, we offer our solution as our gift this holiday season. www.albinophantblog.com

PartyWeDo PartyWeDo
56-60, M
Dec 3, 2012