Monday, June 01, 2015

The road map

Well, the nest is empty again for a bit. Joel came home from his second year at Chapel Hill, very glad to be home for the rest of May. To sit on the porch and read, to make fires out back with friends and talk into the wee hours, to eat home cooking, to work his old job for a while and make some money to carry him through a summer with an unpaid internship. Yesterday, after church and lunch together, he left for Nashville in his new/old car. I'm happy to report he made the almost 7 hour trip just fine. He texted last night that his host family are coffee lovers. Yay for that. My coffee buddy's in good company, it sounds like.

Coty snapped a picture for me as we said good-bye outside the restaurant yesterday. When I looked at the picture, I cringed a little. Oh, my! The wrinkles look deeper and well ... more abundant. I thought, "Maybe it was the lighting, maybe the bright sun made them show up more, maybe I don't really quite look like that."

Then I remembered a lovely interview I heard recently. As she pointed to her face and the etched lines at the corner of her mouth and the outline of her cheek, actress Frances McDormand said, "That one, that one right there. That's Pedro.That's my son, Pedro.  20 years of going, 'Hi!' and 'Wow!'  ...this is the map ... this is the road map."

So, imagine, if you will that I point to those lines at the corners of my eyes as I say, "This is 20 years of saying 'Hi!' and 'I love you' and 'Way to go!' and so much more." The lines are years of smiling, even at good-bye, entrusting this young man to the God he (and i) love and endeavor to serve.

In fairness, of course, I must say that many others are etched into that road map face of mine. Five other children who have made me smile and laugh (and yes, frown and cry), a husband of almost 36 years, grandchildren, parents, sister, nieces and nephews, friends ...

Thank you all, dear ones. Every picture of my face is that road map, pointing back to years of loving you. Or, if you don't mind as I mix my metaphors, each picture, a gallery in which your lives in mine are on permanent display.


O'Quilts said...

Your road map is lovely

Sheri Muma said...

Beth, I gained a new perspective on aging recently after reading The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts. She said that she used to be jealous of old people because they had had the privilege of attending so many weddings, graduations, etc. - events she would miss because of her cancer. (She has died now, leaving her pastor husband and four young children.) I told ladies from our church that I would never again feel badly about getting older, but thank the Lord that I have the privilege of getting older, the privilege of attending weddings and graduations, the privilege to love and disciple others, the privilege of living longer to do more work for Him on earth! So, if getting older means more wrinkles, I'll look at them as God's grace in my life. Bring on the wrinkles!!!