The First Send-off
It had begun the night before with an all-nighter sewingfest to put the last touches on the items that would remind of home, warmth and people-who-love deep, long and hard.
As we sewed, she reminded me of what I had told her about sharpening needles. We had been sharpening each other all through those years. Tonight we just laughed at the bent parts and tried to make something out of all of the scraps.
There were broken places inside that cracked a little further as I realized she had been listening and wanting to learn and I couldn't recall ever having said a thing worth remembering. Still, she sat there as I pinned the pieces together and worked to create something worth taking forward.
In the end, we welcomed the result of giddy sleepless laughter and last minute design. The tattered and torn had found a place together in the future. I pushed down regret and inhaled a new start.
At this point, none of us were really sure this was the path we wanted to take. The transition was feeling abrupt, and somewhat permanent.
The balloons were a trite tribute to the occassion they announced. However, we found ourselves grateful for the sure direction they invited. Clearly, this was to be a celebration. A new beginning. A land of good things to come. We should enter the gates with anticipation. We discovered the courage within to comply.
And, it seemed right somehow; as though we were walking a mapped-out path.
I was reminded of the "Pearl of Great Price" and I realized then that she was walking beside me. 18 years before, I had begun a journey of letting go of me in favor of this Great Pearl. There were so many sacrifices made and so many more that should have been made and in the end, all was given, nothing was held back. It could have happened all at once, but life's always been more of a process than a once-and-for-all decision. And, so I let the day unfold into a process of letting go. I relished each heart-twisting moment.
They were so kind, but I found myself resenting their presence. It's a moment of trust to realize that strangers can and will take over the care that you have given yourself to for years.
They unloaded everything far too quickly. Before I knew it, she was in a new home.
But it was the president's message that brought the tears. Something about all the work that we'd done was his and theirs to carry on. Something else about adults and time to separate. So soon? You mean today? Right NOW?
The the hands went up showing "the first and the last". Those parents who would say forever good-bye today to their One-and-Only. I tried to feel relief, but I knew inside she was a "One-and-Only". Just because he and she and he were still at home, this One-and-Only, today was her Good-bye Day. I only had one chance to do it well, to get it right. The man two rows over looked at me with kindness. He saw what my husband was hearing. I tried to quietly breathe deep.
We tucked her in one last time....
Hung the memories on the wall...surrounding her with loved-ones in 2D.
And...pulled ourselves away.
Looking back though, I smiled.
There it was...all the good things we had strived to foster, a love of natural beauty, respect for authority and a foundation of Truth. She had chosen all that we had always chosen for her. No wonder I was filled with gratitude and a deep, over-whelming sense of awe.
September 30, 2014 | Share: