Every Precious Moment Of Now
My heart is heavy tonight. The tears fall freely as memories wash over me of a time long ago — a time when my now twenty-something boys were but little ones. I recall the noise and chaos of our home in those days. It’s now been replaced with silence. As much as the Contemplative in me loves silence, this isn’t a silence that blissful, but painful. I miss the non-stop chatter, the little arms reaching up for hugs, the never-ending “Mommy! Mommy!”, and reading a story to them each night before bed. Yep! My heart aches tonight. There’s a name for this — empty nest syndrome, and boy do I have it bad.
How fast time flies. I bet there are plenty of Mom’s … and Dad’s too … feeling this same heaviness right now as kids go off to college for the first time. For those of us that were stay-at-home mom’s and homeschooling ones at that, perhaps the heartache runs a bit deeper. For so many years those children become your life. But more than your life, your identity. Whenever I was approached in the past and asked by an old school chum what I was doing now my answer was always the same, “I’m a Mom. I home school my 3 boys!” Now if someone approached asking the same question I would stumble. What would I say? Yes, I will always be Mom, but not in the same way. My role has changed as its meant to, although not in a way I might like … right now anyway. Kids grow up, move out, get married and the cycle begins again, and that’s the natural progression of life. Sure it is. But it hurts.
I was never supposed to have children. Suffering from the eating disorder for so long doctors had said it would be next to impossible. But once more by the grace of God, I defied the odds. They were tiny — preemies in fact. But that fact only made them all the more cherished by me. I gave them all the love in my heart, and they returned that love in spades. They gave me a reason and purpose, and something greater than myself and an eating disorder to live for. God had given me the ultimate blessing, and for that I’ll forever be thankful.
I’ve heard it said that our children never truly belong to us because they belong to God. He loans them to us to care for and nurture until they can take care of themselves. But I’m betting that there are plenty of parents out there — especially mothers because we carry those babies in the womb — that feel as if those children are as much a part of them as their arm or leg. So when they grow up and leave our nest it almost feels as if a part of you has been cut off — ripped away. Well, at least that’s how I feel right now.
It’s not that I want my boys to never have lives of their own. I do. But at the same time it is ripping my heart out, and that’s as honest as I can be about my feelings. Why share this on my blog for the whole world to see? Because I know there is another parent out there somewhere that feels the same way I am feeling right now and I want them to know they aren’t alone. There isn’t something wrong with you for all those conflicting feelings so don’t think there is. But the big question is after the grief — yeah grief — cause that’s what this pain feels like, what do we do? How do we move on with our lives? I think the answer to that is we reinvent them.
“Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already – you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there.”Isaiah 43:19
For me, I am pouring my heart and soul into my new memoir, Little Girl Crying that just launched last weekend. I am working hard on completing my first CD. I am giving all I have to the Lord now and this prayer ministry. But the grief is still present and the pain some days almost unbearable, and so I pray extra hard those days. I hold on even tighter to the Lord asking Him to send comfort and to help me heal. It takes time to move through grief. One day I will. But until that day I won’t feel ashamed for crying or even spending a day here and there feeling blue or downright depressed. It might be uncomfortable for my kids to see me that way or even anger them at times, but these are my feelings. I have a right to feel them. I earned that right over the course of 20+ years. I was the one up when they were sick all night, that taught them to read and do math equations, that played baseball, video games, and even Santa Claus for years. I know I have to let them go and allow them to be men, or I risk losing them forever. I know. I get it. I will. But I’ll do it in my own way and in my own time as God’s grace gives me the courage and strength to move through this most painful passage in my life. I’ll hope they can have some compassion for my aching heart and try to understand it’s only because I love them so much that I hurt.And who knows, maybe one of them will marry and bless my life with a grandchild — a new life to once again fill that emptiness I now feel. So to all those moms out there that have little ones and you feel some days as if you are going to pull your hair out — I have a message for you. Yeah, I know you’re tired and you just want some time to yourself, and some darn peace and quiet. But those little arms that reach up begging for you to hold them today will soon be just a distant memory. Today, hold your children, kiss them, love them, play with them, teach them, but by all means cherish every single precious moment because it will be gone in the blink of an eye. All you’ll have then are the beautiful memories you make in every precious moment of now.
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