Sometimes I can't believe that I am beyond the middle years of my life....a new stage is coming. I feel its presence.
I look at my parents and know that I am watching them slowly fade away from me.
I look at my children and know that they too are slowly letting go of my hand.
The pain that separation brings is bittersweet.
Mark and I slept in late this morning and when I woke up, for some reason, I remembered back to the Saturday mornings when our young children would pile into our bed and wake us up.....the days when I would be carrying one little one and holding another one's hand.
I look at my grown-up daughter and remember the baby clinging tightly to my neck...sleeping contentedly upon me. The little girl who was always so happy when I returned home from a rare excursion forth from her. She once told me that the smell of my perfume always made her feel safe....when I would come home from an evening out and check in on her tucked in her bed, she would think happily to herself, "Mommy is home. I am safe."
But I have had to learn to let her go....to release her hand.
Lately I am feeling the pangs of letting Michael's hand go....he is tugging it away and I feel the tear in my heart.
I look at John and feel the missed first two years and how difficult it was to help him take hold of my hand...that it was only through His grace that it happened at all and I know the day is soon upon me when he shall pull his hand away too.
I think of the "son of my heart" our dear Lord gave me more than seven years ago and the pain that comes with never having been privileged to have held his hand at all....
They are a gift....these hands to hold....these hearts and souls to love...a precious gift.