99 Days

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My daughter took the call yesterday. She relayed the inconsequential information first, then with dancing eyes, she nonchalantly remarked, “And by the way, I’ve been accepted. They reviewed my admission and said I’m a perfect match for their school.”

I knew this was coming. I too was sure that my daughter would be a perfect fit with the vision of this small Christian college a couple of hours from our home. After the excitement of the moment died down, I pondered the path which had led to this day.

Almost 18 years ago, I looked into her face for the first time. My world shifted as I gazed upon a beauty that was so much more than my imaginings could begin to capture.

So light,

and so fragile;

a bit too early, yet perfect in the tiniest detail.

150 months ago, she sat down at her new little desk. We opened our first schoolbook and began the journey. In spite of me she learned, and I began to truly grow up.

Tears and tantrums,

laughter and ‘lightbulb’ moments;

lives intertwined, and flourishing together.

99 days from now I will hand her a diploma; a tangible marker of the completion of this path. And while the reality is, she has had charge of her education for some time already, the finality had not occurred to me.

No more messy projects of paper and glue,

no more discoveries of long-forgotten people and places;

no more snuggling in the big bed, losing ourselves in worlds of

wardrobes and rabbits and other earths.

The homeschool journey so often seems never-ending. Indeed, my road is far from finished, yet I now see that is does end. With this one child, this remarkable mind, this wickedly witty young woman, it is almost done. We’ve made it. She is accepted. Her road will continue on without me at the helm. And though I am wildly excited for her, I find an unexpected emotion as well. Grief.

This grief courses through my body in waves, squeezing my heart and my throat so that I am incapable of speech. It leaves a hollowness in my belly where she once grew, and where I first felt the flutterings of a life not my own. My eyes fill, and I force the tears back because I fear that if a single one spills over they shall never stop and my mommy-heart will shatter into a million pieces.

Excitement and mourning,

unfettered joy and mind-bending pain,

the capacity and resiliency of a mommy’s heart is limitless.

This, I suppose is the life of a mommy. We give and give and give. And instead of emptying, our hearts simply grow and grow and grow to accommodate. The cracks and dents we endure only serve to make them beat stronger.

How many days, or hours until her actual departure? I don’t know because I cannot bear to count. But I can look back and rejoice over the 6,481 days we’ve been blessed with so far. I have not lived those days perfectly as her mother. But I don’t regret nor take a single one for granted. Each has been a gift of indescribable value.

Thank you, Lord, for every one of those days. Thank you for the gift of this marvelous child. May you give me clarity and wisdom in my ever evolving role in her life. May the changes be sweet, and our love for each other mature and strengthen. And most of all, may Your light be seen through our journey. Amen.

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8 thoughts on “99 Days

    • Thank you, Deborah! It’s already been awesome to see how the Lord is directing her. I am excited to see it all unfold…I wrote this feeling rather overwhelmed and selfish about how it will affect my world. 🙂 Sigh. No one said letting go would be easy. Blessings to you today!

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  1. Beautifully lyrical. Some moms can’t wait to finish the homeschooling journey, I squeezed every drop out of every moment. What a blessing we’ve been given. It will be tough but God will give you so much grace and joy, and satisfaction.

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    • Thank you, Anita. I too hope to squeeze every bit out of the time we have left. So sad, yet so exciting all at once–I wasn’t quite prepared for the onslaught of emotion! I’ll undoubtedly fall apart when she leaves, but only for a little while. Our Lord is so lavish with his grace and peace, I know it’ll be fine. 🙂

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  2. Rebeca, your insight has touched me. We feel your heart in every word on this page. This is another season in your life; the journey will continue but in a different light. It’s a good thing. Be blessed.

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    • Thank you, Mary. I know rationally that all seasons have their blessings. I can’t help but begin to grieve the thought of this one ending though–it has been so incredibly sweet. I plan to embrace the changes with as much poise as I can muster!

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  3. Absolutely LOVED this piece and could relate. I heard your heart beat in this piece. Thanks for coming by and reading my review of Writer’s Doubt. I wanted to pop in and see your writing. This piece was a real treat. If you check out one of my poems I read on my site, Forever. You’ll see that I do understand. God gave me that poem years ago and it still fits.

    Anne

    http://www.annepeterson.com

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    • Oh Anne, that poem is wonderful! And yes, I see that you do ‘get it’. I’m glad you enjoyed this piece. It is one of the more vulnerable things I’ve put out there. The emotions that are hitting me at the thought of my baby leaving are much more raw than I thought they’d be. Seeing them grow up is so beautiful, but hard for mommy! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, and for your encouraging words!

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