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More is More

moreOur daughter left for college last week. We drove her to her dorm, unloaded a years’ supply of snacks and dorm supplies and then it was time to actually leave without her. To get into the vehicle and drive home without my little ray of sunshine. She had chatted the whole way there, talking excitedly about everything that entered her mind. The drive home was completely quiet. I’m pretty sure I scared my guy; for the first time in our marriage he tried to get me to talk.

I had no words to express the emptiness I felt. A friend had warned that I would feel like I had lost something for a few days and walk around in a fog. Yes, the fog was there, but it also felt like a gaping wound that everyone should be noticing and trying to cover for me. During that drive home I tried to think of what I could have done differently. Did we teach her everything she needed to know? How in the world is 18 years enough time to cover it all? What could I tell my friends to do to protect themselves from this terrible ache? The only thing I came up with was less:

Less hugging.

Less praying.

Less hurting.

Less talking.

Less singing.

Less worrying.

Less cooking.

Less listening.

Less looking.

Less teaching.

Less dancing.

Less playing.

Less laughing.

Less loving.

If we had cut out all these things over the years, perhaps the hurt wouldn’t have been so great. Maybe it would have even been a relief to see her off, on her own for the first time. With this perspective I was suddenly okay with my open wound and puffy eyes. I’ve earned my right to feel this way because I have loved this girl with everything I’ve got.

I’ve hardly worn make-up all week because it gets washed away with tears too often right now, and that’s okay too. More than okay.

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7 responses »

  1. Oh man. Tears on this end after reading this post. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

    Reply
  2. I too have worn little make-up this week for the very same reason :). Our girl is going to do great things, because you have been a great Mom and great example to her for 18 years. I Love You!

    Reply
  3. Our youngest daughter left home at 18 five years ago and took off for the coast 2000 miles away. Just a year out of high school. We cried for two years. We had to put away things that triggered what we called the “wet blanket” mood. I couldn’t listen to my favorite music without being triggered, hear Phantom of the Opera without being triggered, hear her voice as the message on our answering machine without being triggered and on and on. We have seen her two days in five years. It’s better now, but not over it. We want her back home so much. Grace at every meal ends with “and please bring our daughter home.” My wife BELIEVES God will do this, but in His time, not ours.

    Reply
    • This makes my heart ache when I read it. Part of the deal for parenting is that we love them no matter what, with no guarantee. It’s the closest thing I have to beginning to understand the love of God. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply
      • If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11. NIV

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