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Random Thoughts

Alone, After 30 Years

September 27, 2017

Dirty dishes, her legacy.

I just calculated the last time I lived alone and it was somewhere around 30 years ago. So, once I finish the dishes that my daughter lovingly left me as a parting gift (so I wouldn’t miss her too much) and get the house cleaned, then get rid of all the furniture she left in my living room, (anybody need a nice dark brown desk?)  I am going to love relaxing here!


I won’t know what to do with all the extra time I won’t spend cleaning.  What a thrill! Maybe I’ll actually get this blog out on time for a change.

Of course I’ll miss her, because even though her cleanliness gene seems to have mutated into something unspeakable, she’s a lovely companion.  Some nights we’d have dinner together and talk like a couple of old friends. It was really sweet. Then she’d snap out of it and realize I’m her mom, but I always enjoyed it while it lasted.

Milena and Topper.JPG

Milena and Topper

She was talking about what she’ll miss most here. She said, I’ll miss this house, my room, Topper…I waited then said, “Were you going to include me in the list?” She said I was part of the house, which makes sense since my cleaning arm is usually affixed to some part of it.


But, I’m excited for her. This is her time.  Time to be away from home, learn about herself and what she wants. Last I heard, it was Media Studies, but these things can change. I hope she works hard because a bad college GPA haunts you like an unrelenting ghost.

I also hope she adds to the wonderful friendships she already has. I hope her new friends become lifetime friends, because I couldn’t have made it this far without mine. And I hope she starts to realize everything I’ve done to try to make her life pleasant. I think that’s an appreciation only your first year away can bring. That’s how long it took me to realize how lucky I was to have my loving, fun, food-centric parents and family.

I hope she has fun, but not too much fun and is more careful than I was.  When I think of the stupid things I did in college, it’s a miracle I came through unscathed. But tiny Clarion in 1970’s Pennsylvania, is a far cry from UC Santa Barbara today, so I’m praying for the best for her.

It was hard to let go of her this morning, even after the fourth round of tearful hugs. I think because of the divorce, I felt like she got cheated out of those nice high school years in our cute house that her brother got. She got bounced across the country twice, which I’m sure wasn’t easy, but she didn’t complain and went into every one of her four high school with a good attitude.

I’m glad we got to spend her community college years together because I tried to make it feel like it used to feel in our old house. My door was always open to any friend she invited or who just showed up. I guess it was my way of trying to give her those lost high school years. You do  your best as a parent then wait for the therapy sessions to begin once they’re in their 20’s.

I’m really so proud of her, and as happy as a mom alone for the first time in 30 years, can be.  We’ve been a team, together since 2010, doing that dance that mothers and daughters do: laughing, fighting, being embarrassed, crying, hugging, singing out loud, struggling, propping each other up, and just hanging on together during some really crappy times. So tossing her out of the nest was harder than I thought it would be, but I can’t wait to see what the year brings – for both of us.

topper licking nose.JPG

Topper giving Milena some farewell doggie love.


  • Reply
    October 4, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Good luck Milena! Make everyone proud. I know you will! Make good choices. See you in a couple weeks. You are welcome here any time. We are just an hour and a few minutes away. 😉

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 8, 2017 at 11:28 pm

      We can’t wait to see you guys! Thanks for the words of support, kids can never get enough of it and another mom throwing love your way is always a wonderful thing! Thanks Theresa!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Good luck Milena! Come on up for a visit any time. See you in a couple weeks! Have a blast and make everyone proud. I know you will! Xxoo

  • Reply
    September 28, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Fran, Milena is a beautiful reflection of all the love, support and time you have given her since she was a tiny blonde girl. Yes, you had a lovely home and your door and heart were always open and welcoming–but it WAS your heart (and all that fabulous food and laughter) that drew people in. Divorce and geography has done nothing to diminish any of that. She is a trooper because YOU are a trooper. I can’t wait to hear about both of your adventures in this new season of your lives.

  • Reply
    Monica Muehsam
    September 28, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Hugs to you, Fran- I’m sure it wasn’t easy, and I love how you can embrace it. I can’t wait to eventually read the blog that says how much you’re enjoying your alone time!

  • Reply
    September 27, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I got teary eyed and I wasn’t even there. ♥

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 27, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      Tears count, so you were there in spirit! xoxo

  • Reply
    Donna Tunno
    September 27, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Oh my, I didn’t expect to read this today, didn’t realize the time was here. I have to admit that I got emotional, but this is a wonderful passage in life that brings on many more exciting experiences and memories. I will call you when we get to St. Louis. Your writing is a gift to your mother/daughter relationship and for all of us who can relate. Milena had a challenging four-different-high-schools-in-four-years period, but look how well she is doing in spite of it! She deserves the best in this next away from home college experience!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 27, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      Thanks DT. I appreciate that and I am really proud of her. I look forward to hearing all about this new chapter in her life and look forward to living my new chapter too!

  • Reply
    September 27, 2017 at 7:22 am

    It is a really exciting time for both of you! And because of your relationship you will always have each other. Wishing you all the best, Milena! And Fran, looking forward to all of your new discoveries!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 27, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      Well, I am hoping to have more time to spend with fabulous friends like you! Coffee soon!

  • Reply
    Chas Madonio
    September 27, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Very touching. Your daughter is a sweet girl and because of your loving nurturing, she will do just fine in the world.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 27, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      Thank you Chas. She thinks you’re pretty wonderful too!

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