For three whole years.
This is no more comprehendable to me now than it was when they first told me their plans three months ago. Probably because I have had three more months to love on and adore my sweet little boyfriend.
This whole letting go process has been excruciating. Grieving is very hard and very exhausting work. I absolutely don't believe I could have made it this far without the strong shoulder of my husband to cry on and knowing that my God knows my heartbreak and He cries with me too.
I thought I had handled the whole empty nest thing amazingly well. In fact, I have been known to brag about myself even. I never guessed that my little birdlings might consider flying to another country. It's a whole new deal now. I can no longer brag about myself.
I remember the evening that Michelle first told me she was pregnant. I looked at her and my first words were "It's a boy." She said, "I think so too". How did we know? I'm not sure - but I knew it. And when I saw on the ultrasound that indeed - we were having a grandson - I have to admit that I was the teensiest bit disappointed and as a mom of four daughters I thought to myself, "What in the world are we going to do with a boy?"
When little Tyler was finally born after hours and hours and hours of labor, I still wondered "What do you do with a boy?"
Silly me. We love that boy. He has changed our lives. Now I am asking "What in the world am I going to do without that boy?
Now I worry about things like: Since he will be learning to talk as his mama and daddy are learning to speak Spanish is he going to be able to speak english? Will I be able to talk to him? What am I going to do when I see him again when he is 18 months old and he doesn't know me? Will I be able to handle it when he hides his face in his mama's shoulder because he is afraid of me? When he comes to visit how will I know what kind of food he loves - I don't cook many Peruvian dishes. Actually, I don't cook any. How will I know what toys he likes and what games he enjoys and how he likes to play. How will I know what song he wants me to sing and will he even let me rock him to sleep?
As we have processed their leaving, we have had to realize that God speaks to our children and He doesn't have to tell us what He says to them. I'm tempted to think that's kind of rude. Afterall, haven't we invested a great deal of our lives in our kids? Sigh. As I said, letting go is hard.
I don't have a clue how we are going to survive the day they actually leave. I will miss my daughter. I will miss my son-in-law. I will miss my sweet little grandboy. The other day I half-jokingly told my husband that we need to find a support group. And then I found one. It's called Harvest Legacy and it is full of good information about how to deal with all of this. We even have a name. We are POM's. Parents of Missionaries. Who knew? I have to say this is a club I never signed up for.
Harvest Legacy is full of articles from parents who have gone through what we are going through. And guess what? I'm normal! That in itself made me feel so much better. It is normal to cry all the time and grieve and be angry. It is normal to feel abandoned and lonely and unimportant. It really is. Most every parent does. They also tell me that it is important to support my kids and not unload my feelings on them because they don't need to take my baggage with them. They won't be able to share their feelings with me if they think I can't handle it. Okay, I haven't done so well on that one. But I'm trying - I really am. And I intend to keep trying. If I really have to walk this walk then I want to do it right.
So the days are short now. God still has a lot to do to get them all ready to go. My kids' faith impresses me. They completely believe He will provide for their every need and will absolutely tie up all the loose ends at home here including selling their house and vehicles. I am showing Michelle how to "do" a blog. I want to read everyday what is going on in their lives.
I told my daughter that I have never once prayed asking God not to let them go. That is the truth. I have only prayed that His will be very clear to all of us. If He is asking them to do this, they will receive blessings and I don't want to be the one to steal their blessings from them. I want to let them go with my blessing and with open arms. It's just so hard.
My goodness. That really was a rant.
But I feel better now.