I bustle around this evening, feeling overwhelmed by clutter, putting wedding decorations away, and consolidating roses into fewer vases, and trying to heap wedding gifts a little more neatly in the foyer. Clutter everywhere.
But not for long.
There’s a u-haul trailer in the driveway. Amanda and Ben will be here in the morning to load it with wedding gifts and a couch and a bed and a kitchen table and a hundred other big and small items, items that will transform Ben’s barren bachelor pad into a real home. By this weekend Amanda will have things looking friendlier, I’m betting, with food cooking on the stove, and a couch in the living room, and pictures on the walls, and her smile greeting him when he walks in the door.
No more will he need to sit in the library talking with her on the internet for hours, wishing they weren’t separated by 7 hours of mountain roads. Now they will be where they belong. Together. Joyful.
I smile to picture them beginning their life together, here at the start of thousands of tomorrows, Lord-willing. And yet along with the smiling, there’s a thought I don’t want to think, a thought I am trying to bury in restless activity.
As I straighten, I imagine how much neater the bedroom and the entry will look without piles of wedding gifts. I think about painting the bathroom now that I have time, and organizing the little girls’ messy bedroom, and maybe even reading a book one of these days, now that the wedding-in-5-weeks project is done.
But I remember still that she’s going.
I straighten Amanda’s room, and pack a bin full of their gifts, and change the sheets and make the bed, and neaten the room, and plan the lunch that I’ll be packing for them to take tomorrow. I have plenty to do. I’ll be fine.
But I know she’s going.
Only for three months, I tell myself. Then Ben graduates from college, and they move back here, Lord-willing. The time will go quickly.
But she’s going. 7 hours away.
I think about my friend who has been living literally half a world away from her young-adult children since last summer. This separation I am facing is nothing. I need to tough up.
But I still know she’s going. And my heart hurts.
I sort through wedding pictures. I print out the best candids, and put them in frames and nail them to the living room wall so they can’t escape. I get eye-rolling from a child who is tired of wedding being front and center and wants life back to normal.
But my Amanda is going.
When I miss her tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, as I already have half a dozen times today, I am going to look at these pictures, images that capture the love in their eyes. She and her young man — her husband — adore each other. That is why her daddy and I gave them our blessing. She’s ready. They’re ready. No matter how much my heart is paining me, this is what a kid is supposed to do.
Launch her own life.
Yes, go, my dear.
Fly high, dear ones.
Love each other.
I know you already do.