The birth of a child is a time of such joyful anticipation…

Each pain heralds the coming of new life.  A deep breath, that final “push” and then…she’s here!  The umbilical  cord is cut and we celebrate the independence of this new little one…she breathes, cries and nurses, all on her own, separate and yet bonded as never before.  Mother and child establish a rhythm, and with each passing day, each milestone of growth, comes the realization that one day, all to soon, the “cord” will have to be severed once again…

Bittersweet.  Nineteen and a half years of our life, mingling with hers, now separate.  There’s so much I feel I haven’t said…and now, there’s no more time.

There will be no Mother’s Day “goodbye.”  My girl had to leave today.  Scared and stressed, fearing she was disappointing family and friends, she packed up her room and at 7:32 p.m. with many hugs and kisses, drove away from her family, towards her future.

I didn’t cry.  Or…at least she didn’t see me cry.  My pain is my own, something she doesn’t need right now, while she’s sorting her way through a variety of emotions…and so I remain strong for her, keeping the pain to myself, jollying the other children with assurances that she’ll be back next weekend to visit.

But I don’t feel so very jolly…walking into her empty room, the room of her dreaming and planning, I find myself missing her already.  Busy as she was, we didn’t often have time to do the many “mother-daughter” things that I’d dreamed we’d share.  Our sharing took place between two work shifts and college.  Between the time she needed to unwind with her friends and the time we so desperately desired to share with her, as her family.  I always thought we’d have time to make up for all those busy days…but it’s not to be.

It’s funny.  I’m thinking back to a post I wrote nearly two years ago:

…I realized once again, how often I have lied to myself. “I can’t wait until they’re grown and independent. Can you imagine, darling? Hot showers, unlimited phone usage, plenty of clean towels, uninterrupted conversation…” These are the things we dream–things we never really believe will happen. “Grown and independent…”  Did I really say that?  I don’t think I meant it!  Will it ever happen?

Well, it’s happening. My family is shrinking. A married daughter with four little ones, another daughter living out of the state and my oldest at home attending college full time, with work, study and sleep in between. Six children remaining, ages thirteen to four…a full house by anyone else’s standards; anyone but mine, that is.

I feel, so very keenly, the absence of “my girls.” For the longest time, it was “us girls.” School together, housework together, cooking together, shopping together. Oh, how I miss it! Jane’s gourmet cooking, Elizabeth’s fabulous cookies and Clementine, keeping everything together with her sweet smile and efficiency.

Ah, yes…how I miss them! And yet, we are separated only by miles…our hearts are still united, and love still forms a bond that is stronger than distance.  I’ll dry my tears now…

God be praised for the many years He has so graciously given us with this child.  While it’s hard to say goodbye, we trust her to His Providence and pray the He grant her every blessing, protect her from all evil and keep her close to His heart.

Blessings,

~~~~~(I’ll miss you, sweetie…we all will…)~~~~~