Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Road Trip

Our trip to Michigan was wonderful - just what the doctor ordered. The autumn colors were at their peak, and their brilliant hues rendered us speechless. The girls had never been in Michigan in October, so they were amazed at the differences between Michigan and Ohio in the fall.

We stayed at my in-laws, who have a house on the bay. Even the water takes on a different shade of color at this time of year. I spent a few minutes of alone time down on the shore each day, and marveled at God's beauty. I always feel renewed and restored after absorbing the sights and sounds and smells at the edge of the water.

Several times, I became quite nostalgic as I thought of what is in store for me in the next few months as TP prepares to go to college. I realized that this trip could possibly be the last one that just the three of us would go on together, and it was a bittersweet recognition of time's swift passage. These girls are young women now - which is a cause for celebration, and a cause for undeniable sadness as a mom lets go, slowly but surely. Here they are - at the brink of taking on the world; and here I am - beginning the descent of my journey. But, I wouldn't trade places with them for a second. It is their turn, I've already had mine.

We visited friends and family - and experienced the full spectrum of life as we celebrated the birthday of my 2 year old great-niece, and the life of a woman who was like a second mom to me during my childhood who died in September. The happiness of one event was contrasted with the sadness of the other, and this added to my pensive reflections about life. I thought about how much this woman had suffered throughout her life, but how strong her faith had become over the years, and how it sustained her through a painful divorce. Her children were united in their grief, even though painful words had passed amongst themselves over the years. And they stood together, holding hands, as the minister said the final blessing. Their mother, who had prayed for this togetherness for a long time, was probably smiling down at them and praying that her children would now begin to repair their drifts and become close once more. I prayed that my girls will remain close after I am gone - that would be the legacy I want to leave behind.

During our trip back home, the girls and I passed the time listening to their CD's and enjoying the scenery as the miles passed quickly by. A few times, I was tempted to ask them to turn down the volume. But, because they were enjoying their music so much, I let them control the volume. My enjoyment came from listening to them sing at the top of their lungs, and savoring each and every lyric which came from their beautiful voices.

Life is a journey made up of many road trips. A road trip like the time you let your child's hand go and watch as she makes her first steps away from you towards her own independence. A road trip like the time you celebrate a new life and mourn the passage of another life. A road trip like a those "little deaths" of giving up a portion of yourself for the benefit of another person. A road trip like giving up some control. . . of letting go. . . and letting God.


At 10:07 AM, Blogger Tyra said...

What a wonderful post. Glad you had a good trip and some special time with your daughters.

Sometimes I feel like life is just rushing past, I look at my children and I can't believe how big they are, how quickly time has flown. It's nice when you can slow down and treasure them being near.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Julana said...

I am glad you had such a good time. In the midst of life, we are in death. One of the mothers who visited the special needs moms' group I attend was killed in a car accident Saturday.
Pay attention to each day.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger The Gray Tie said...

I got goosebumps reading your post today.

It is true when people say, "enjoy your kids now because they grow up so fast." I am beginning to see how right they are. And yes, bittersweet.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Paula said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip! The fall is my favorite time of year. My baby turns five this Friday. Time flies when you're having fun.

Love In Christ,

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Beautiful post Valerie - I wish I could have seen the colours and scenery..
Glad the batteries are recharged - hope it keeps you going for a while..

At 5:07 PM, Blogger The Field Family said...

You were missed! And your post is right on!! I was also "home" this past weekend and enjoyed it a great deal. I didn't even mind our 9 hour stay at the airport!

CJ Field

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

That was beautiful. I am gald you had a good time in Michigan.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger HeyJules said...

It's an amazing time you're living in right now, isn't it? Full of new experiences for both your girls and for you.

I pray that you continue to feel blessed each and every day that you get live your life being their mom.

Life as a roadtrip...what a thought.

At 11:16 PM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Tyra: Yes, life does rush past - it has gone by so quickly for me, especially since becoming a mom.

Julana: Thank you. I am so sorry to hear about the mom who was killed - what a tragedy.

Carol: I know you are enjoying your kids, as am I, even though at times, they drive me crazy!

Paula: It is so good to hear from you again! I have missed you a lot. Fall is my favorite time, too. And Happy Birthday to your little one!

Barbara: I may be able to upload some of my pictures in a few days. It was a wonderful trip!

CJ: I'm glad you had such a good time at home, too - and congrats again on the great news!

Sarah: Thank you so much! It was good to hear from you again.

HeyJules: Yes, I truly am blessed, and thank you for your prayers!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Stacy said...

That was lovely Val. Tragedy is the thread that keeps families from ripping apart. I'm so happy you were able to find joy in this trip. I too love fall; just sitting outside marveling at His works. All my love.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Nettie said...

Sounds like your trip really recharged everyone's batteries.


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