Yesterday my “baby” – the last child I brought into this world – drove off to cross the country to go back East to college. The last few days have been overly full with extended family gatherings, a cousin’s wedding, a baby shower for another daughter, and a quick trip to a high-mountain lake for a few hours in the sunshine with friends. They were all good things to be doing, but through it all I wished I could have squeezed in a few more hours with just her and me, time to visit, to talk about all the years we’ve shared, to share our hopes and dreams for the future, and just to hold her in my arms.
The night before as she was getting all the last-minute things together, we did take time to sit on her bed and chat while I massaged her feet – one of our favorite things to do in the evenings. I will always cherish those few minutes. But the night was late, she was exhausted, and we soon said goodnight.
The next morning came and it was time for her to go. Her brother is going along to help with the driving, and they hoped to get in at least 800 miles that day, so we hurriedly packed the last few things into her car. Our morning prayer was tender as we pled for their protection on that long journey.
Before she got into the car, we exchanged a long hug and the longing look in her eyes spoke a thousand words.
She doesn’t like it when I cry, so I did my best to hold back the tears until the car pulled away. But there was no stopping them then. My new husband took me into his arms and told me, ‘It’s okay – we cry because we love.”
He’s right. I’ll be crying more as the days go on, and it’s okay. Every time I pass her room (I haven’t been able to go in yet…) that pain arises in my heart, and I realize anew that she’s gone. But I remember that the pain is there because I love her, and because parting from those we love hurts. Each time I cry, the tears help ease that pain, so I allow them to come often, and freely.
So if you feel the need to cry because of the absence of someone in your life, know that it’s okay. It’s okay, because we cry because we love.