Write In Between

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Time for Goodbyes

This summer has been nothing but preparation for good-byes. And things have reached their culmination. Within the span of one week, I have attended the funeral of a dear friend, and prepared to pack the car for my first-born son's departure to a college 500 miles away from home. I tell you, its a double-whammy emotionally. It's why I've been missing in action here at the blog. And despite the appropriate sadness I feel on both occasions, I feel peace begin to vibrate in my soul.

My dear friend was a holy soul who died following a terminal illness. She died the way she wanted to: at home, with her loving family nearby, and with the comfort of the Sacraments. And so I am happy that she now lives--no longer restricted by an ailing, painful body. For my part, I did what I could for her, and now I let her go to God. I will miss her smile and her company, but I will forever be enriched by her influence. And yes, Lord-willing, I hope in the resurrection and that day when we will meet again in the company of saints and angels.

My son has been grieving a bit too. His girlfriend left a week ago, and he's been out at night saying goodbyes to his other pals. His father and I have been keeping close enough to keep track of him, and far away enough to let him set the pace. But now we are down to the final hours that he will be home.

The packing and sorting has been tedious. I'm trying to be helpful, not pushy, and so it goes, this dance between parent and man-child. And yet, I'm feeling the coming distance. And praying for him every day. Yesterday was our "last Sunday Mass" together as a family for a while. I'm praying that wherever he is next week, he will stay close to Jesus in the Eucharist. I think he's ready. I'm not. But I hear its normal for me to be experiencing these intense emotions. I know my heart is expanding. I am finding consolation in that "Parents Weekend" at the university is only 6 weeks away and my hotel is already booked. If only this son could x-ray my heart, he'd know that I love him with a depth I cannot adequately explain, and that I'll miss him profoundly when we say our goodbyes this week.

And yet, there's a peace spilling over me even still. He is going to Catholic college where he received a scholarship and where he already feels at home somewhat--small enough for professors to know your name, and large enough to have Division I basketball. And daily Mass. What more could I ask for?

And so, it is time to say it, for both my friend and my son: goodbye... for now. I love you, I'll miss you, and I'm praying for you. Looking forward to when we meet again.

Copyright 2006 Patricia W. Gohn

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