Skip to main content

"Mom, what are you giving up for Lent?"

Mother's Love: artist Claudia Tremblay
My dark-haired daughter asked me this yesterday. My immediate response, with no thought was, "my daughter."

You see, my curly-haired daughter and her husband are moving 1000 miles away. On Friday. So, I'm giving up my daughter for Lent.

I am so happy for them: he has a new job that really taps into his talents and the pay is excellent. His parents re-located there about a year or so ago, and I know it's been hard on them as both their families are here. My daughter and her husband have an excellent financial plan to get rid of their debt over the next three years. It really is good.

But: they will be 1000 miles away.

My heart is a little broken. I know they don't understand my tears (yes, I bawled last night as I held her tight), and they probably won't understand them for another 25 years, when their baby loads up a car and pulls away.

150 years ago, this move probably would have been final. How many times in history did a mother say good-bye to a child and then never see them again? Letters had to suffice. Today, with Skype and Facebook and phones and ease of travel, we will see each other quite frequently.

But she will be 1000 miles away.

That distance precludes an impromptu mani-pedi on a Saturday afternoon. She won't show up at my office with lunch. I can't invite them over for dinner tomorrow.

They are at such a beautiful time in their lives: still newlyweds, able to pick up and go. Adventure awaits. They have will mountains and beaches and oceans and little responsibility. So many new things to learn about themselves, each other, the world.

Yet, a mother's heart aches. It's a little broken ... again. What am I giving up this Lent? My daughter. But in my sorrow, I wish them joy and happiness and fun. It's just that I'm hurting. It's the price of love.


Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Trauma Mama

Dear Husband and I both enjoy certain medical shows, such as "ER" and "Code Black." ("St. Elsewhere" was another fave!) These shows revolve around trauma: humans who'd been ambushed by life: a car accident, a fire, and abuse, as examples.

More often than not, these shows also highlight the trauma the doctors and nurses needed to deal with. Having a patient die is always offensive to a doctor: they are charged with saving lives and losing one is the ultimate failure. Nurses spend more time with patients, and can forge strong bonds with people that may be in their lives for just a few days.

But trauma doesn't always look like a bloody body being wheeled into an emergency room, or a house surrounded by fire trucks and police cars. Trauma comes in many forms.

According to one website, trauma can look like surgery. It can look like moving. Trauma can be losing a beloved spouse or more horrifying, a child. Trauma can also be chronic pain, loneliness, m…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …