The elation of graduation is settling down and the reality of unpacking everything at home is sinking in very quickly. The milestone of Sarah completing college is forever etched in our memory. As a parent, your mind wanders back to the previous accomplished milestones: the first smile, eating baby food, learning to sit, crawl and finally letting go of mom’s hands and walking down the hallway! The school memories of friendships, projects and the prom have flooded my mind these past couple of days. Now, I watch her unpacking, cleaning, drawing in her sketch pad and wonder where in the world did 23 years go to so quickly?
As thankful as I am, I have also finally admitted to myself that part of me is grieving. She is not a little girl with a bouncy ponytail anymore and I have to let go of her to transform into the woman God wants her to be. Right now, we don’t know exactly what path she will take and that really is okay. She has a very profitable and fun job as a nanny for the summer so she’s got a little time to decide if she definitely wants to pursue graduate school or if she wants to start working full-time.
In my reflective mood from the past few days, I’ve also finally admitted that I am grieving for Daniel and all the life milestones that have been put on hold until we find out what’s really going on with him medically. I’m not bitter or cynical, I’m just finally being honest with myself. He should be driving, going to youth church events, and enjoying school activities. Instead, he has spent the majority of the last two years in his bed, on the couch or visiting different doctors. I want the school milestones of going to student award assemblies, running to Wal-Mart at 10:00 pm to get more poster board, and dashing out the door in the morning at the last minute. I miss the church milestones of hanging out with youth group, watching his faith solidify and going on missions activities. The teenage boy milestones of growing into manhood have been stifled by this mysterious illness. I grieve for the precious time he has lost to this illness that has turned our world upside down.
Yes, this is definitely a transitional time in my life and conflicting emotions have crowded my mind. My faith has not faltered, in fact I’m probably more dependent on God now than I’ve ever been. All I have to offer is brokenness, empty hands and my hope that stands in my Savior alone.