This is a “first”… a first for me, and a first for my first-born. We’ve started this New Year at warp speed headed straight for my daughter’s wedding this summer. All sights are on the BIG DAY. With one sleepless, how-am-I-going-to-pull-off-this-wedding anxiety and nightmare filled night behind me, I’m determined to conquer the rest with my secret weapon… the LIST! Oh, how I love the LIST. What a beautiful, freeing little thing it is! Even if I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, dadgummit, I’ve got a LIST!!! I will exceedingly admit that I am not an administrator. I love order and serenity… which don’t exactly rule and reign in every corner of my house or in every drawer, closet or even my handbag. But, I do have pockets of organization. (When I’m feeling like a real failure in this department, a trip over to my cutlery drawer for a quick peak at its nice little compartments and nesting silverware just makes me feel better. “See?… I’m not that big of a loser… lookie there!”) Anyway, we are halfway to the wedding and I say proudly, that we’re doing great. We’ve got our lists (I have issued LISTS to all pertinent participants),, we’ve checked them twice, well, maybe 300 times, and we’re on schedule.
There are “lasts” as well. The closing of 2010 was wrapped in saying good-bye to the years of raising Casey… letting go of being the one to look after her every need, protect her, comfort her, provide for her, teach her, plan my day around her, tuck her in, peek in on her while she’s sleeping, sneak a little kiss on the cheek… be with her… letting go of having her. To say that it all goes by so quickly is a gross understatement. I wish I could freeze-frame time. When you’re having ‘lasts’ with your child, it rips your heart out. The shift that is taking place is full of joy, but it’s also laced with loss. This is the way it should be, and it would be really sad if, as a mom, I weren’t sad over losing my little girl. I will miss her most terribly. A treasured memory will be this Christmas Eve as we gathered around her to say good-bye… putting words to our deepest feelings, words that can’t be said without wads of tissue. We cradled each other in a big group hug as we sobbed and giggled all at the same time.
I was reminded, and want to remind you, that life is summed up in this… one is rich only in the richness of those whom he loves. Cherish them in your life. Seize what time you have with them. Keep that as your focus. The rest is rubbish. It all fades…it all passes. Love remains. People remain. C.S. Lewis spoke of this in a letter found in “A Severe Mercy,” as he spoke to his friend Sheldon VanAuken, (and I paraphrase here) that the battle with time is proof that we are eternal beings. Everything is measured by time, and it’s usually a negative slant. “I’ve run out of time,” “It’s over now,” It’s time to go,” “Where has the time gone?”… illuminating the truth that time is our enemy. We are created for eternity. But for now, we’re stuck in this thing called time and we have to deal with it. So, here I am, having our ‘first’ wedding and grieving our ‘lasts’ with Casey as I transition WITH her from mother of little girl, to mother of wonderful married young woman.
Don’t get me wrong… we’re going to have one whooping great time at her wedding and a great time pulling it all together. I’m sure I’ll need a few thousand lists to pull it all off… but, that’s ok. We’re going to celebrate and dance and laugh and love her through the gateway to her new life. But, this mom sits here with a very tender heart and a deeper resolve to love more, live stronger and seize each day with my other two girls as a precious gift from God. If a day in 2011 is my ‘last,’ I want to go out knowing that my attempt to love was determined and true.
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