(reposted from a Facebook Note):
Let me preface this by saying I understand that, in the grand scheme of life and death, these things are small. My children are alive, healthy, and I still have 3 1/2 years until my youngest disembarks the home hearth for “her” life. I got it. There could be so much more tragedy and pain, I know … I know.
That being said … this has been the summer of great joy … and great sadness for me. There has been a graduation or two … a wedding … an nephew’s engagement … my final two entering high school … and the two oldest leaving home.
My daughter is happily adjusted in Oklahoma. She is working, going to school, and learning to live near the boy she believes will become her husband someday soon. I love them both desperately, and am excited to see how this years molds them, builds them, and grows them. We text pretty much daily. We skype ever week or so. I even get to see her in a couple of weeks, when two friends and I hit the road in my cute little VW diesel bug for a “mom’s only” road trip.
My son and his wife have been on an odyssey of sorts. They had planned months ago to move to China to teach English. They made preparations, they filled out their paperwork. They purged through their stuff time and time again. And they were prepared to leave August 21.
But the Visa didn’t come.
So, they reassessed. They adjusted jobs. They made phone call after phone call to their Chinese employers. To the airline. To the Visa place. To the employers … literally hours and hours of phone calls. Trepidation over whether they should even go. Finally, the plans set in place. They were leaving September 10.
And the Visa didn’t come.
So they delved deeper into frustration and questions and all those things that surface when plans are not quite what we thought. They weathered this time with grace and beauty and patience and love. They were simply incredible through this experience. They were gracious with their families. They were encouraging. They were persistent. They were here for things they hadn’t planned to be … to see my daughter move out first … they went to their first Tiger’s game together … they spent precious, deep time with us and me a gift I could never, ever repay. All with great love.
And then last week … the Visa came. And today, we drive them to an airport, and put them on a plane for a 25 hour epic adventure that will find them waking up two days from now in Wuhan, China. A half a world away from me. For almost 10 months. They are filled with great joy … and great apprehension.
And I am 3/5th empty as another part of my heart flies far away.
So, just a moment of grief. Just a moment of reflection. I have so much to do … son #2 is preparing for graduation … searching colleges … finishing high school. Daughter #2 is well into her freshman year … making friends … surviving chemistry … stretching and learning.
And all around me life goes on. People live, people die …hopes and dreams are built and achieved and adjusted and let go. So much swirling, changing, and yet oddly standing still while I watch my little boy board a plane with the love of his life to fly far, far away physically, and paradoxically drill his way deeper into my heart.
So, today is the day. Finally, the day they’ve waited for … and yet another day I’ve dreaded. Chin up, though. It’s good. It’s good, and healthy and the beginning of an adventure of a lifetime for them. I know all of this. You don’t have to remind me.
It’ll just take a little time.