Grief. A very real and tangible emotion that most of us try to avoid. Of course none of us ever get to. It's as much a part of our human lives as joy or hunger or air. Fortunately, for most of us, grief only shows up occasionally because our lives are mostly filled with good days. There are always the "bump in the road" kinds of things that happen, but real, deep, heart-wrenching grief, blessedly, is rare.
Yesterday we sent our kids off to Peru for three years. We will get to see them for short visits once each year. Saying goodbye to my daughter, son-in-law, and 9 month old grandson has nearly ripped my heart out. And although the pain is still raw and tender, I'm glad that much-dreaded ordeal is now history and I never have to live through yesterday again. I know there will be more good-bye's in my future, but at least this one is now behind me. I thought this whole thing was going to kill me. And then I was afraid it wouldn't. That's how grief works. It comes in waves. Just when I start feeling like maybe it's going to be okay, some little thing like finding a certain little boy's sock stuffed in the couch cushion, will cause the tears to begin flowing again.
Since October, when their decision to leave was made, I have been sadly counting the days down until they left. When it came time to turn the calendar page to February, I fought it with everything in me. But February came anyway. Now I can start counting down the days until they come home to stay. I'm on day 1093.
I want to thank all of you who have prayed for me. Many of you I know in real life. You have listened to me and comforted me and tried your best to convince me that I will survive this. Many of you I only know through blogging and you have been every bit as supportive and loving as if we lived down the street from each other. You people will never know how deeply I have appreciated your prayers and love to me. You have shown me the love of Jesus and I am humbled by your many kindnesses. Yesterday I found this post written by Bev at Life of GRITS. It was so helpful to me and it expresses my heart perfectly and exquisitely.
You may have noticed that I have placed some blog linkings on the sidebar labeled Peru Blogs. Michelle, my daughter, is the top one and she promised me she would do her best to keep it updated. She won't actually be set up in Peru to start blogging until next week - but I can't wait to read her words and see her pictures. They are spending this week with Tyler's grandparents on the other side of the family. I'm so glad they are having these days to spend together. Olivia is a friend who graduated with my daughter from college. And Wendy is a girl from our church who is leaving next week. Her mama and I have committed to meeting weekly to pray together for our kids. I would like to invite you all to read their blogs and support them in prayer as you have me during these days.
I know that somehow we are all going to adjust to this change in our lives. We are going to be okay.
I'll leave you today with this picture of my beautiful sweet boy in the airport yesterday. I can't possibly find any words that can come close to describing how much I want to kiss his sweet face.