I know a lot of things. Just like you, my head is filled with facts, memories, email addresses, birthdays, expertise, and a wide variety of valuable as well as trivial bits of information.
So, when I say I know I'll find my way through this, I can speak with some confidence because the whole of my experience points to the truth of that self assurance. I know tens of thousands of other mothers have done it. I know I'm not the only mother who did it today. I know tomorrow other mothers will do it, and on it goes.
What I don't know is how to speak into the grief and longing and loss and upset this has produced. And I don't know how long it will last.
I didn't know that my little girls would cry themselves to sleep last night, or that the older of the two would ask to be wakened so she could say goodbye - again.
I didn't know that my youngest son would curl himself into my side, and let wet fall wild down his cheeks.
I didn't know Weekend Farmer Husband would pray with such passion and eloquence.
I didn't know that the next two in line would alternate between wild productivity to take their mind away, and just as quickly as they were moving, slump down into silence and loss of place.
And I didn't know that although I've had intellectual purchase for better than twenty years that this day would come and that it is good, that I'd know so little.
I know he'll be back, Lord willing. I know this is a first of many steps in establishing his future as a provider, contributor, and Kingdom worker.
I know he's ready. He left - leaned eagerly into the adventure of independence, internship, and opportunity. I know it's the first of many leavings, and that Weekend Farmer Husband and I have been making ready for this and will continue for him and the others. I know that the empty and lost that I feel is an opening for the Father to fill with His gifts - whether that be a keener sense of absence or something new and exciting that I cannot conceive, I know not. I know it is good.
And, I know how to count. The gifts and the goodness. I know how to number the seemingly unconnected and unnoticed moments into the connected whole that reminds me of God's goodness. I know to keep counting and wait for the gifts I cannot see or feel today. And, I know I've been blessed.
Before he left, he held me long and strong, looked into my river running eyes with clear blue gaze and spoke words of love. And I knew what to do. Together we walked into the dark of a new day - literally and symbolically, set the course, and with shimmery courage I waved him away.
I know I'll remember this moment like the one when he gulped air for the first time, and that both moments will forever seem like it was just a moment ago.
February's Gifts : 31-45
-Old Faithful, better than 265K miles, humming in the pre dawn, warm and sound, packed and ready to transport him.
-Clearance from physicians for Grandfather and Grandson to enter in to the adventure together. Chemo, Leukemia, and Stem Cell Transplant do not derail the mission of multi - generational family vision.
-Perhaps a donor has been found?
-A tentative courageous touch begins to close the divide that the weekend revealed.
-Driving home from church the scenic way.
-Little girls in braids and ruffled skirts.
-A friend inquiring how are you and asking to go deeper.
-Health being restored, and although not 100 %, we're coming round the bend.
-Second born son, not envious of the affection evident for Firstborn, pulling me close on the couch and telling me we'll get through it.
-Had we not loved so deeply we would not feel his going so sharply.
-An eldest son and oldest brother serving, loving, and leading so well.
-Siblings banding together and being kind one to another, tenderhearted.
-Missionary biographies inspiring and convicting our hearts.
-A call to tell the gospel, the power of God to transform, with passion, boldness, and regularity.
-A full pot of coffee waiting, Weekend Farmer Husband filling the cup that Firstborn Son has so long done.