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Can I Please Walk Home With My Friends... ?

We had both been through a lot... .  We drove over two thousand miles to get to DFW.  We were both tired, and although we were both very sad about leaving Ohio... we both knew we needed to somehow start our new life.

The divorce had been very hard for me.  Eighteen years... the girl next door married the boy next door.  We were scared, but we were in love... and we had dreamed about it since the middle of high school.  And now... it had all come to an end.  A very sad, very tearful end.

My daughter was more the brave one than I was.  The TV show "Dallas" was very big in Cleveland.  We watched it every Friday night... my daughter and I.  It all looked so "new."  And... it all looked so warm.  I had done some market studies, some cost-of-living studies, and some studies on all the local school districts in DFW... all from two thousand miles away.

I made one trip... a scouting trip... very early in 1982.  I had picked out Plano... mainly because of the schools.  I had read so many wonderful things about the Plano schools... and the most important thing for me to be sure of... in deciding where we would relocate to... was the schools. 

On my scouting trip I visited just about every elementary school in Plano, and after touring the school with the Principal, and talking with several of the teachers, and quite a few of the students there... I finally found a school I was happy with.  I finally found a school I felt comfortable sending my fifth grade daughter to.

The last thing I did on my scouting trip was rent a duplex.  The present tenants were moving out at the end of February, 2002.  Perfect.  We arrived at the duplex very early that Friday morning in March.  I wasn't going to send my daughter to school for only a partial day that day.  I thought we could get settled over the weekend, but she wanted to go... so that's what we did.  I drove her straight to school.  We both sat there and watched the empty school yard... all the kids were inside.  As my"baby" started to get out of the car... she turned to me and tried to talk, although her sniffly nose and tearfilled eyes could barely get the words out.

Please, please, please... she said.  "Promise me you'll be here on time to pick me up after school.  I don't want to get lost trying to walk home."  I promised her... I'll be here better than on time... I'll be here early.

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So later that day... about ten minutes before school was out... there I sat... early... waiting for my "little lost baby" to come walking out of her new school.  I strained and strained my eyes... waiting for this one, single girl to come walking towards my car.  Then, finally... I spotted her.  But... she wasn't alone.  There she was... with three other girls... walking towards my car.  I quickly rolled down the window as she came up to the car and said to me...

I know you're here to pick me up... but can I please walk home with my friends ?

As I watched her walk away with her three new friends... my eyes filled with tears.  For the first time in months... I said to myself... "I think we're really going to be... OK !

Comment balloon 50 commentsKaren Anne Stone • September 23 2007 03:54AM

Comments

KAREN:  Very touching story.  It's always a lot of mixed emotions when they run off with their friends.  On the one hand, you're happy that they are having fun, but on the other, they sometimes have to leave us sitting around waiting.  It's happened to me when my son and I play hockey in our driveway.  He's totally engaged until the boy that lives next door comes out of his house, and then I'm left in the driveway playing hockey alone, kind of like you in the car I imagine.  Thanks for sharing.
Posted by Adam Waldman, Realtor - Long Island (Westcott Group Real Estate Company) about 10 years ago

Karen Anne - BEAUTIFUL!!  Touching!!  This is the kind of encouragement you can share with others who need to know that in time...it will be okay! My father was military so my older siblings experienced the uncertainty of moving around and I've heard the stories.  It's wonderful to hear that it didn't take long to meet and greet.  Why is it harder for adults than kids to make new friends?!?! 

THANK YOU AGAIN...I really think someone "in your past shoes" will need to read this. 

Posted by Susie Roscoe, Real Estate Specialist | Brandon, FL (Signature Realty Associates) about 10 years ago
Karen Anne - This is a beautiful story of starting over and making it work. With the personal experience you bring, I am certain those transferring to Fort Worth have a very capable, knowledgable and understanding Realtor when they choose you. There are just some things you can't fake! Relocating, although, often an exciting time in one's life, can also be the source of great anxiety. Thank you for sharing your story, for us and those relocating to Texas.
Posted by Paula Henry, Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174 (Home to Indy Team @ HomeSmart Realty Group) about 10 years ago
Hi Adam:  You poor guy.  Well, the next time your boy leaves you in your driveway playing hockey alone, give me a call.  If I'm in the neighborhood, and happened to have my hockey stick in the trunk, I'll stop by so you can home somebody ELSE to beat besides your son. <grin>   Thanks for your comment.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago
Hi Susie:  I think one of the reasons it's easier for kids to make new friends... is that they have not yet managed to put up the wall between them and their world once they have seen "hurt" so closely.  Resiliency is a wonderful thing.  But, even when a rubber ball gets bounced and bounced and bounced... it sometimes loses its "bounce-back-ability.  Thanks for your comment, Susie.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago
Hi Paula:  "Starting over."  It's rarely something we look forward to with either 100% excitement, or 100% dread.  Just about everything we do... is a pot pourri of a great variety of mixed emotions.  Just seeing the above three comments from you, Susie and Adam this morning makes me want to once again go bravely out into this day.  Thanks so much for your your kind and caring comment.     Karen Anne
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago
Karen Anne - Well, I see the market on "touching" has been cornered, so let me say what a moving story that was. There's no place like home, is there?
Posted by Tom Plant (WINEormous.com) about 10 years ago
Hi Tom:  Yes, home really is where the heart is.  When you're going through some tough times... you mind can become so fogged... that sometimes when you put your head on the pillow at night... sometimes you think that you'll never be home again.  Thanks for your comment.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Karen Anne - I really liked this story.  My parents moved me to Mora a week before my junior year, and I was not excited, to say the least.  I took it a lot harder than your daughter, and really had a hard time finding new friends.  I had the same ones all my life, and it was a difficult transition to make! 

Great story!

Posted by Nick and Joslyn Solomon, The Solomon Team - Century 21 Moline Realty, Inc. (Century 21 Moline Realty) about 10 years ago

Hi Joslyn:  Thank you for your kind comments.  The move was very difficult for both my daughter and me too.  I grew up in Cleveland, spent 38 years there.  My daughter has done well here, and does have friends.  But... I still... to this day... feel guilty about having her miss all that we both left behind.  But... at the time... it was the best of some really not-so-good options.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Karen Anne - I'm the oldest of three, and looking at my sister (five years younger) and my brother (ten years younger), I think that there couldn't have been anything better than for them to grow up in Mora. 

I, however, do sometimes wonder what I missed out on.  Where I'd be now.  I do think my life would have been different.  Different, yet the same.

However, it's worth it to know that my brother and sister had the experiences they had.  You can always wonder what if, but I believe that you and my parents both made the best decision!

Posted by Nick and Joslyn Solomon, The Solomon Team - Century 21 Moline Realty, Inc. (Century 21 Moline Realty) about 10 years ago

Joslyn:  Your last comment made me laugh, this one brings tears.  I really thought I did the best I could at the time.  I was just destroyed by the divorce.  Where did you move from ? 

By the way... would you please email me at KarenAnneStone@aol.com .  I have a question for you.  Thanks...  Karen Anne

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago
Karen Anne, this is such a sweet story. Thank you for sharing. I could see something like that happening with my daughter as well.
Posted by . . (no thanks) about 10 years ago
Karen - This is a terrific story.  Thanks for sharing it.  Would you consider moving it from one of the groups you assigned into my new "Family Ties" group?  I think it would be a terrific fit there.  I could feel your emotions in this post.  Very well done!
Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 10 years ago
Hi Jason:  Thanks for your kind comments.  And, yes, I just moved it over to Family Ties... so it is there already.  I think it would fit in very well.  Maybe someone would even give it a "5,"  and  perhaps recommend it to be a "featured post."  Hmmm... what are the chances?  I have never HAD a featured post.  Hmmmm...  just wondering... Hmmm <grin>
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

It is featured in the group.  Check it out -

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 10 years ago
Jason:  What a great idea... thank you so much.  It is my very, very first "featured post."  I am honored that it is in your "Family Ties" group.  With so much of my heart poured into my writing it... it wasn't an easy post to write, but that night I just felt like I simply needed to share.  See... even "progressives" can have "family values." <grin>
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Karen Anne,

Alright Karen Anne, you made my eyes water up. Thank you. There's alot in life that is important, watching you daughter open up the freezer and seeing a box of her favorite ice cream bars that you bought at the store to suprise her, puting a flower on her bed before she comes home from school or just pulling her aside and saying "I see all the great things you do and I want you to know I notice them and I love you".

Mike Lewis

Posted by Mike and Dawn Lewis, The Lewis Team at Keller Williams in San Diego CA (The Lewis Team at Keller Williams) about 10 years ago
Hi Mike:  Thank you for the very nice comment.  Yes, there is so much in life that is important, but family for me... perhaps because mine was taken away from me so abruptly... for me it is very important.  And, nothing goes further than letting your kids know that you love them.  Nicely done, Mike.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Hello Karen Anne,
I love this story.  This tells me you had done a very good job with your daughter.  My guess is she is a very warm, caring person.   

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) about 10 years ago
Hi Cynthia:  Thankfully, she has come through this with a spirit that makes things work in all she does.  Sometimes all of that seems like it was two hundred years ago, and sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday.    Thanks for commenting.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Karen:

Beautiful story. We have had 3 major moves as a family and each time you really worry most about your kids. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Alan Kirkpatrick, Alan in Austin (Austin Texas Homes) about 10 years ago
Karen Anne - Every time I see a new comment on this post, the title reminds me of how great it is - perfect title!
Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 10 years ago
Hi Alan:  Yes, Major moves can be traumatic, but hopefully this one landed you in a place you'll stay for awhile.  And, yes, usually we worry about the kids, but also usually, they end up adjusting more easily than we do.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Jason:  I know what you're up to.  Ya can't fool me !  You are just being nice so I'll go out and take several hundred of my wonderful photos of the new Cowboys Stadium and post them so you can see what Da Boys are up to.  I know yer tricks !  LOL

Thank you for your kind comments.  And, yes, I really like the title myself.  I can still hear my daughter's words ringing in my ears.  And yes, it still brings a tear to my eyes.  Thanks for commenting.  And, congratulations on how well Family Ties is going.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Karen Anne, This is a beautiful and heart-felt post....I love your writing style and how you write with passion and feeling.

Thank you for sharing a bright part of this difficult time in your life.

Jo 

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith about 10 years ago

Hi Jo-Anne:  You are very welcome.  I truly believe that in sharing we double our happiness, and lessen our sadness.  Jo-Anne... you are making me smile with your comment on loving my writing "style."  I'm not sure I knew I had one... so I am honestly feeling honored by your comment.

I just write what comes out... although I really hold nothing back.  I just let my feelings fall out onto the page, and try and do it so that it "sounds" like me... which I guess is what my "style" is.  Duh !  Thank you again for your kindness.  It warmed my day.      Karen Anne

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Karen Anne - I moved from Elk River, MN, so it wasn't cross country or anything, but still far enough to make me bitter!  lol

I e-mailed you!

Posted by Nick and Joslyn Solomon, The Solomon Team - Century 21 Moline Realty, Inc. (Century 21 Moline Realty) about 10 years ago

Joslyn:  Oh... I was all set to feel sorry for you until I looked up how far it was from Elk River to Mora.  A whopping 52.4 miles !  So... you moved from north west of Minneapolis to north of Minneapolis.  Oh... the trip must have taken your parents... days... LOL.  But, I understand, you left friends behind... no matter how far it was.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago
Hi Jo-Anne:  I was curious just where Belleville/Quinte was, and enjoyed your comment so much, I decided to look on Mapquest to see just exactly where you were.  And... you're just a tad east of Burleigh Falls and Lovesick Lake, Stony Lake and Lower Buckhorn Lake.  Why... I remember it like it was just yesterday.  although it was in 1981... LOL.  Near Peterborough, Ontario... in the heart of the Kawartha Lakes, no less.  What a memory.  Anyway... thanks again for your kind comments.    Karen Anne
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

I knew you would look it up!  LOL!  No, it wasn't really that far.  But for a suburbian 16 year old that didn't take driver's ed because, well, why would you want to?  It did seem like quite a ways away.

Of course now I drive 35 miles just to go to Target...

Posted by Nick and Joslyn Solomon, The Solomon Team - Century 21 Moline Realty, Inc. (Century 21 Moline Realty) about 10 years ago
Yes Joslyn:  I truly admire your "pioneer" spirit... braving the wilds... overcoming all obstacles... slaying the sharks of Lake Mora... just to get to Target.  You are so brave.  <grin>
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

How did you know about Lake Mora?

Actually, in reality it may be more like slaying the garbage in Lake Mora!

Besides, what is life without Target?  Nothing.  I'm sure of it.

Posted by Nick and Joslyn Solomon, The Solomon Team - Century 21 Moline Realty, Inc. (Century 21 Moline Realty) about 10 years ago
A very heart warming post. My father was in the service so moving around to different schools was a way of life for me. I'm glad that your children are adjusting :)
Posted by Diane Velikis, Luzerne County Real Estate (Coldwell & Banker Busch Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Hi Diane:  Thanks for your kind comment.  I think sometimes, perhaps even most of the times, our children adjust much better than we do.  I think that was the case in the move my daugher and I made, too.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Karen- Wonderful story through the eyes of a single mom! I know the many thoughts that cross through ones mind when change can be challenging! You sound well adjusted. Lovely story, thank you for sharing.

 

Posted by Arizona Real Estate Associate Broker (MR Realty) about 10 years ago
Hi Candace:  You are very kind.  Thank you for your caring comment.  Me... well adjusted ?  Thanks for the thought... but I think something like that stays with a person pretty much forever.  I think that during that stressful time way back then, my daughter and I both took turns playing parent and child with each other.  Honestly, somehow we did what we needed to do to survive.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago
Oh - Don't I understand that! I am raising my youngest now, 16yrs old and it is a game of survival. We are survivors!! We are woman, hear us roar!! My hats off to you!!
Posted by Arizona Real Estate Associate Broker (MR Realty) about 10 years ago
Candace... yes... raising a 16 year-old son can be quite an "experience."  And, I'm sure he says the same thing about you... LOL.  I am sure the two of you will do well.  You Go Girl !
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) about 10 years ago

Yes, Karen, it is a wonderful story! It did bring tears to my eyes as well as memories of similar circumstances in the search for perfect schools for our children when we too, settled on Plano almost 7 years ago now.  My son was also in 5th grade, my daughter in 1st.  Although, I did not have the same heartache and loss you describe for your marriage, I had left everything and everyone we knew soon after 9/11 to come to a place we knew nothing about except for a couple months research. It was truly a leap of faith, as it still continues to be as circumstance and situations arise that test the soul, but how wonderful it is to have found friends here to help us take our "walks home". 

I've read through many of your blogs this AM. I did not comment on any except this.  But I would like to express my sympathy to your daughter in the loss of her sweet Lady.  I am pet lover and know we all will go thru the loss of our pets at some point but it is like losing a family member, sometimes harder because they are our faithful companions on a daily basis who truly love unconditionally.  Your accounts of her trial touched my heart.  I trust Lady will be waiting patiently to walk her master home one day too.

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) almost 10 years ago

Hi Karen:  The mind is an incredible thing.  So is the heart.  But when both the mind and the heart get together, just about anything is possible.

I just received your comment, and was reading it... enjoying it, and enjoying the way you write. I like it.  You actually "share" yourself when you write.  How cool !  Anyhoo... I read about your moving to Plano after 9/11, and about having friends here to help us take our "walks home."

Then on to paragraph two.  Your kind sympathy regarding my daughter, your being a pet lover, losing a family member, unconditional love, and how my accounts touched your heart.  All wonderful sharing, and I was reading along, taking it in.  Then I came to your last sentence.  Wow !  Yikes ! 

Talk about "touching my heart..."  I am just sitting here crying my eyes out.  What an incredibly beautiful way to imagine Robin meeting Lady again... when you wrote... "I trust Lady will be waiting patiently to walk her master home one day too." 

The way you tied the focus of this post about Robin wanting to "walk home with her friends" from school after her first day in the fifth grade after moving to Plano... to "Lady walking Robin home one day" was just beautiful.  You are one talented and caring person.  Thanks so much for sharing this with me.  I, of course, will share it with Robin.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago
That's a great story.  Thank you & I'm glad things worked out okay! 
Posted by Chris Fisher (Your Virtual Assistant) almost 10 years ago

(((Karen Anne))) Hugs from Plano!

I have thought of that last line I wrote off and on today and it comforts me to think of my own animals I've lost over the years to know that they are part of the Kingdom of God too.  Thank you for your kind words as well.  You are someone I will be meeting one day soon I'm sure. You too are one special lady. 

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) almost 10 years ago
Karen Anne, I have a feeling you have a lot of lessons on life you can share.  I always enjoy reading things you write....keep it coming!
Posted by Joddie Roberts, Your Spokane Realtor - Spokane, WA (Mountain Real Estate and Property Management) almost 10 years ago
Hi Chris:  Yes... it took quite a while... but things have a funny way about never being as bad as you thought they would be.  Thanks for your kind comment.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago
Hi Karen:  That last line got to me... right in the heart.  What a nice thought that all of your furry friends will be there... just waiting for you to either take them our for a walk, or change their litter box.  I look forward to meeting you, too.  Thank you so much for your kind thoughts...
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago
Hi Joddie:  I very much enjoy sharing the things that have happened in my life.  I will make you a "deal."  If you keep on reading my posts and commenting, I will keep writing them.  Thanks for your very kind words.  I appreciate them more than you know.  Take care...
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 10 years ago
This is a touching, story. It means alot to me because I myself have a daughter that I have raised by myself. The feelings involved and the love I have for her mirrors the love you have for yours. Your daughter is a very lucky girl! What a great Mom you were and are. You are also a great inspiration to me. Thanks so much for always staying in touch with me and I thank God that our paths crossed. I hope to someday be an inspiration to others as you are. I believe everything happens for a reason and that we have stayed in touch after all of these years so we could lift one anothers spirits when needed. Thank you Karen "YOU ROCK"! 
Posted by Angela Wilson-Rush (Madison Settlement Services) over 9 years ago

Angela:  What an incredibly sweet thing to day.  I cannot remember anyone who ever said I "rocked."  Perhpas back in the late 50's or early 60's maybe.  Then, the next time would have been during the "disco" craze... LOL.

Anyways... my daughter was always my biggest concern when we move here from Cleveland in 1982.  Having run the gauntlet of the divorce, it was just the two of us against the world.  We survived.  And... Angela, I, too, am glad out paths have crossed.  Take care,,,

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 9 years ago

This brought tears to my eyes! That little girl is a young lady now. Praying she is taking care of you as well as you did her! XOXO

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) about 4 years ago

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