We've now tipped the scale more on the side of having children out of the home than in the home. There have been many partings. Growing ones getting on airplanes or pulling out of the driveway for drives to far away places. We are a far flung family - rural NY state, Denver, Brussels, and soon to be, Minneapolis. I feel the space and distance. I grieve the absences.
Far bigger than the grief of good-byes, though, is incredible gratitude. I have been given the gift of six children. Marriage has added two, soon to be three, more. In spite of my many failings as a mother, my children - in what feels like a stunning gift of grace - still love me. They say so and they show it in innumerable ways. Somehow, through hard times, thoughtlessness on my part and theirs, misunderstandings and miscommunications, disagreements, and even angry silences, love wins.
Wendell Berry wrote,
"Grief is not a force and has no power to hold. You only bear it. Love is what carries you, for it is always there... shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery."
On this quiet morning with no one else at home, having said one good-bye and facing another parting later in the week, I'm carried in the shining gold stitches of love and thankfulness to God for...
Erin, Luke, and Clara,
Jonathan and Kandyce,
Thomas and Kay,