Now, nearly two weeks removed, I feel I have distanced myself enough from the emotions so I can share my initial feelings of desperation without making you all feel nauseous.
And just like that, they're gone. I am trying to have an upbeat attitude about the whole thing and not be overly emotional. But I can’t really talk about it either, because I am pretty fragile and the torrent of feeling may come rushing out at any moment. So I have been keeping my mouth shut for fear of my heart flowing out and drenching everyone in my sappy mother-thought.
But, I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to write it all down. That way, you can move out of the deluge if it is too much. Or you can take it in bite-size pieces if you’d rather not drown in sentimentality. Anyway, I am feeling a loss that I can’t quite express and it reminds me somewhat of dropping my kids off at college, but in a more intense and final way. I’m trying to pretend that he is still living his charmed life in Iowa City with his sweet bride Jessica, but in reality I know this isn’t true and I know that right now he is on a plane headed to a new land that is completely foreign to me. I am trying my hardest to be excited about the opportunities that await them there—the adventure and exoticness of their new home—but I find myself thinking of myself and of my world and the changes that are happening and I am wondering if that is okay. Parenting involves a lot of losing. I am bad at losing. So here’s my attempt at poetically processing my sadness…
No one told me when I had my perfect baby that I would have to give him up
I thought he was mine to keep.
But I was wrong.
This boy I raised is not really mine;
I don’t get to keep him forever.
Things on this earth are only on loan.
I didn’t know it would be like this;
how my heart would resist releasing my boy;
how much I would have to trust my Father to do His best
I was surprised at my utter helplessness
when I couldn’t stop the clock;
when time would not stand still.
I have never truly had control.
It’s the illusion that creates the heartache,
but memories sustain the soul
that hungers for wholeness.
And hope for a sweet reunion
in the storm.
Because surrendering your children so many times
is like taking little pieces of your heart and
on the sea.