The Long Letting Go

One of the hospital chaplains stopped by yesterday to say hello.  In talking with him he mentioned to me that there were several patients here who were in somewhat similar situations as me, though not exactly the same, and some who are pregnant with twins where one has already passed away.  This morning there was a lot of activity around here and while patient confidentiality is absolutely observed, I could tell that there were emergency type deliveries and perhaps it is that some of the mommas have already delivered their precious babies and are having to say goodbye today.  Please keep them in your prayers.

The chaplain, for reasons I now understand, told me about an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he read.  He said the article was written by a dad sending his boy off to college for the first time.  I thought it was neat that he mentioned this article, albeit likely irrelevant to me, because one of my best friends from high school, I call her Jem, was here the other day and she is sending her son off to college for the first time on Friday.  She is very sad!  So I thought it was fitting and I’d find the article and send it to her.

Here is the link to the article:  http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/220271181.html

As I told Pat, my sometimes chatting buddy at work who is a wonderful father (and spectacular runner by the way-such an inspiration!) and who is himself taking his only son to college for the first time next week as well as taking his daughter back to college, “I wanted to feel sorry for myself when I first started reading the article, thinking about how Laurencia will never even go to Kindergarten, much less college.”

But then, while I was reading, somewhere in the middle of the commentary, the dad writes, “I have the worst of it. I know something he doesn’t — not quite a secret, but incomprehensible to the young. He is experiencing the adjustments that come with beginnings. His life is starting for real. I have begun the long letting go.

Put another way: He has a wonderful future in which my part naturally diminishes. I have no possible future that is better without him close.”

And all I could think about was how absolutely true this is for our Laurencia, though she isn’t going to college, she is going somewhere else, somewhere grand.  Her eternal life, when she must leave us, will be starting for real. And we, even today, this week, have to begin the long letting go.  I’m not sure the letting go will ever end for us.  And while Laurencia has a wonderful future in which our part naturally and physically diminishes, no matter how much I understand or can try to, that she will be basking in glory, I will always have wanted to hold my baby close for many more moments, here on earth.

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