“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
When was the last time that sentence accurately described your life?
Any time I’ve had to say goodbye to any of my four kids or my nine grandkids would be the best/worst of times.
I had to take our oldest son to the airport in Minneapolis by myself to put him on a plane that would take him off to college. That in itself was scary to me. I’m not a city girl, learned to drive out in the country and I’m not comfortable with freeways and city traffic. It was about 2 1/2 hours, and we talked of many things. The check-in process was pre-911. We could still got to the gates with the departing person. I kept up a pretty good front, but as I watched his plane take off, I lost it completely. I was excited for him, and I know you don’t raise them to keep them at home. But now I faced that long drive back, alone, in tears, and of course I got lost.
The hardest goodbye with our second son was at his wedding. He and his bride would be leaving for Texas after their honeymoon, and we would be back in Pennsylvania by then. Again, I found myself fighting tears and losing, knowing it could be a very long time before we saw them again.
Third son? I think that one is still to come. He wants to go to England. There’s this girl over there. . . . .and we love her, and we’re excited for him to accomplish what he needs to do to get there, but still. Another son living overseas. At least he and his oldest brother will be able to see a little more of each other.
My daughter was with us until she married. We love our son-in-law, and they live only half an hour from us, so we see them usually once a week. The wedding was such a great time. So many friends to honor both sides of their families. I only shed a couple of tears when they drove off from the church, knowing I’d see them soon again. Two of the bridesmaids stayed with us until the next morning. It was after they left that the house was suddenly very quiet. I went into her room to strip the bed, and the bareness of the room hit me like an ocean breaker. Things had been so busy that I hadn’t really paid that much attention, but there was NOTHING on the walls, on the dresser, the desk, in the closet. Just nothing, and knowing my last chick wouldn’t be back home was both the best of times and the worst of times. Tears can be joyful and sad together, you know.
And we won’t even talk about saying goodbye to grandchildren. Nope. Not going there.