We all say goodbyes. We all have moments when one part of our lives seems to close and another area is new and fresh. Change is inevitable and ongoing. I know this. I know this well. I am also pretty sure that things will work out ok. They may not always work out the way I prefer them, but they usually work out for the better.
This week has been a week of endings for my family. With those endings comes the new beginnings too. Each time I hit an achievement or my kiddos do, I can’t help but glance back at how I’ve done. I’m just one of those folks who always looks back to see how can I do better next time. I try not to beat myself up, but I do at times…only to do better the next time…right?
Being the only parent in the house has been very hard for me over the years. There is the full responsibility of guiding these precious souls toward their purposes, their joys, their challenges and their dreams. For any parent, this is a huge responsibility. There is also the part as a sole parent that there is no one to share this with every day. I’m not sure which of these aspects is more difficult for me.
This week, my big boy finished elementary school. He was promoted from eighth grade and will go to high school next year. He has officially survived middle school! He is turning into such a wonderful young man. Every day I watch as he changes physically, emotionally, spiritually. It is an amazing and awesome process. I am so proud of him. I am so proud that amidst his struggles he continues to find something everyday to be happy about, grateful about…
My little one will be in second grade next year. We have many wonderful years of elementary school left. We will remain in a school we have loved and he will be nurtured by people I trust and am continually grateful. He has mastered reading. He is skilled at making new friends. He doesn’t always hit people who upset him anymore! Such large strides for such a little fella! I am so proud of him. It is an amazing and awesome process. He has turned from little kiddo to school kiddo before my very eyes! I remember thinking when his dad died that if I could make it until he went to school…that would be amazing…well, it is.
Each boy has made strides, had joys, had challenges and they continue to plug on…just like I do everyday. I am grateful.
Glancing back at the beginning of the school year, things were different for all of us. We have each grown. As I watched my big boy’s promotion and looked at the end of year video for my little one, I started my process of looking back. As I watched the 1st grade video at home yesterday, I began to cry. I don’t cry that much anymore…but I did. I felt guilty, I felt sad, I felt, well, I felt yet another step further away from the life I wanted. I really miss Dave still. Sadness still overcomes me when we have a family event and he’s not here. I miss that we had great end of the school year day, but I came home to no one. I hate that the boys had a great year of growth and have such bright futures to look forward to and he is not here to celebrate that with them. I hate that he is not here to do his Foghorn Leghorn impression…”son, I said, I said, son, I’m proud of you”. Every day we succeed, I know it is what he wanted. Every day we succeed, I know it is what is meant to be…that said…it doesn’t make it any easier. There is still a hole. There are still those wandering thoughts…how would life be if he was still here? I think it’s even stronger when we transition, when change is evident, when we move closer to the people we are to become.
So, as I look back…maybe the better word is “feel” back…I know that I will continue forward also. I know we will face our new challenges as we’ve faced challenges in the past. I know we will continue to grow and become, we will still feel the vacancy of his laugh, his hugs, his smile…but, we will still keep going.
As I glance back at the school year, I am so grateful for all the “newness” in our lives. It has really been a remarkable year of growth…for me especially. I will face tomorrow, as I always have…with hope. I will say goodbye again with tears, but know that they are tears of growth…no matter how hard that is. I choose hope. I choose growth. I will hold my love very closely in my heart. I will miss him. I will, hopefully, make him proud. Glancing back, remembering, it’s all a part of it…all a part of this life…not the life chosen, but the life lived intentionally.