How quickly life flies,
Born to a series of Goodbyes;
Childhood dashing off with grasping hands
without a care,
adolescence departing, after so much turmoil,
with a mere shrug,
Youth, stars in its eyes, journeying forward on a path
glittering with dreams and desires,
greedy to gather them all.
Goodbye to growing life in the womb
and sleepy nurslings at the breast,
to toddlers with dimpled knees and creased wrists,
to lisping three year-olds in dishtowel capes,
and tanned, long-limbed ten year-olds,
toothy, gappy grins and sparkling eyes filled to the brim with life.
Goodbye to children as they sprint away
to follow their own paths.
We stand back, letting go,
aching for the backward glance, "Goodbye" catching in our throats,
breathless as we realize they've taken our hearts with them.
Goodbye to friends of old, some who just seemed to dissolve in a mist,
others who moved on ahead, and who perhaps wait for us.
Goodbye to grandparents, and parents, too,
Losing sight of them, but not of their footsteps as we follow behind,
moving forward, looking back,
watching the distance stretch behind us.
Moments move into days and days into months, dripping steadily,
drop by drop
until we are full of years
and smiles, and tears.
I am 48 today, and I am not depressed by it, just a bit melancholy. I really am only very slightly dismayed at the thickening waistline, the lines in my face, the gray hair, all things on me surrendering to gravity. I actually have a much harder time with my children's birthdays, as my inability to stop them from growing up and moving on is very hard for me to bear.
I waited so long--too long--to have my first child, and late it was that I discovered that it was having children, watching them unfold and blossom, that has brought me the most joy, the greatest sense of purpose and the deepest understanding of our Creator's self-sacrificial love for us. It is hard saying goodbye to this phase of life, which began too late and is over too soon. There will be no more births for me, no nursing babies, and soon, no more toddlers (oh, how I love toddlers, in spite of all their willfulness!).
Still, I am trying to enjoy this phase of life, too--being able to spend more time doing things with the older children, having a bit more free time as they take over some of the chores, enjoying conversations with them and marveling at the brilliance of their creativity and astuteness of their observations.
Life is good. God is good. I am glad to be here. Thank you to all those who are making the journey, in spite of all its difficulties, an overall pleasant one. What would a journey be without fellow travelers?