Transition is a two edged sword. So beautiful. So necessary. But every transition comes with some degree of loss. Sometimes the losses are welcome and sometimes they are painful. Change always causes hearts to experience the gamut of emotion.
We've been bombarded with change and it's subsequent emotions this week.
Jade moved home from college.
Grant left for a long awaited, carefully planned 6,000 mile road trip.
Thursday morning Jim and I dropped Kruz off at Grandma Kathy's. She's not really his grandma but who's worrying about blood lines? She loves him with grandma love and Kruz loves her right back. I take him there and I don't worry because, in that grandma sort of way, she's the next best thing to his mommy. As we pulled from her drive and headed toward Saint Louis, I was grateful for her presence in our life.
We snuck into the arena at SLU in time to watch Jamee , donned in black cap and gown, walk in with hundreds of other health science graduates. I was so excited and so proud as she walked across the stage to receive her diploma. A Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy.
My mind flipped through the pages of memories of the past four years. We agonized over the decision of where she would go to college, to run or not to run. Decision made, she headed off. She was scared and I was an emotional wreck. That first year was filled with many ups and downs. There were countless "how do I?' phone calls and some "I want to come home" calls too. But she grew and matured and came to love Saint Louis and her college. I grew too. I learned to loosen the apron strings, to trust her judgment, and give her room to soar. This week, amidst all of the pride and excitement there's also a fear of the unknown. Will she be able to find a job? Where will she and Caleb live? Will she love the career that she's chosen once she enters the work force? As I watched her interaction with other graduates, I sensed sadness.
Over the last four years she has formed deep and beautiful bonds. Relationships that have helped her form a different, broader view of life and ideals and love. We can clearly see that her heart is breaking at the reality that she will never see some of these friends again. Like her, they are moving on, some to other parts of the country, others to different parts of the world.
From Jamee's graduation we headed over to Lindenwood University to collect Jade and two car loads of stuff, her life for the past year. We found mixed emotions there as well. Excited chatter and laughter among her friends, but also a sort of clinging to each other.
They've settled into college life and independence and now, suddenly, it comes to a screeching halt in exchange for life back home. There is a sense of looking forward to renewing old high school friendships along with uncertainty that comes from knowing that all of those friendships won't look the same. Jade has changed, her friends have changed. Will they pick up where they left off? She was glad to come home, but also not. Joy in returning, sorrow in leaving.
And those two car loads of college life? It doesn't really have a home in our house. It's misplaced and chaotic.
It causes overwhelm and mild irritation but I've learned, having experienced it several times now, not to let it get to me. This is small stuff and we're not sweating the small stuff. We're grateful to have our daughter home and there's no way around bringing the dorm home with her. The disarray is temporary so we shove it into a closet or storage, awaiting August when it returns to college.
In the midst of all Jamee's graduating and Jade's moving back, Grant was preparing to head out. A trip, which he and his two friends had long dreamed of, was finally happening in the wee hours of Saturday morning. They headed west with the intent to cover about 6,000 miles within a couple weeks time. My heart swelled with happiness for him but there was also worry. Will they drive safe? What if they got lost in the middle of nowhere land? Did they take warm enough clothes for tent camping in the cold mountain temperatures? My little boy is not so little now. He's all grown up, a young man and he doesn't need me to pay attention to all of the details. I am beyond trilled for him to be able to do this. It's a once in a lifetime experience. It's priceless memories being made. And my boy knows me well. He's sent me countless texts and pictures already. He's letting me know he's okay, that he's utterly awed by God and His creation.
My heart is full. Life is beautiful. It's painful. It's everything in between.
God is good, all the time.