Friday, June 26, 2009

Transition Sure Ain't Easy - His Room is Empty

My English teacher Mom is probably in heaven shaking her finger at me for using the word "ain't" but it's true. Transition AIN'T fun. Yesterday our son Zane packed up all of his earthly belongings and loaded them into a U-Haul. He's moving with his new bride to Eastern Washington. I'm excited for them to start their new life together. At the same time, it's difficult to let go of my first born son.

I sat at my computer last night writing a devotional assignment for the Christian Writer's Guild. I thought the subject of trusting God in this life transition would be the perfect thing to write. But after I said good bye to Zane I couldn't see the screen through my tears. I sobbed and sobbed with my son Gabe sitting by watching with those beautiful eyes filling with his own tears. Even our big yellow labrador Donovan knew I needed a hug. He came over and licked the tears off my hand. Steve was up in our room having a good cry of his own. Our son is officially moved out. Why Lord, does it have to be so hard? I'm thankful that You will never leave me or forsake me. That comforts my heart.

My writing area is covered with photos. I have one collage of our boys from the time Gabe was a tiny baby until just last year at his graduation from high school. I looked at those photos and asked myself, where has the time gone? He was a little boy just yesterday wasn't he? Now Zane is married and has left our home.

Oh Lord, comfort me as I move to this new phase of my life. Next week I have to prepare my heart again for another transition because Gabe is moving to his own apartment. We will truly be empty nesters. Thankfully he is only across the lake at the University of Washington so I can grab a hug often. I'm sure I'll get a phone call once in awhile telling me he needs me for something and I like that idea.

I wondered how my mom did this so many different times? She had to let go of each of her ten children as they left the nest. I can't even imagine her broken heart. I can barely breath today because I'm grieving the changes in the feel of our home with my first born moving on to his new life with Kelsey. My mom had to repeat this process ten times. She didn't have my dad to hold her close and tell her it's going to be okay. She was widowed when we were all young. She handled it alone.

I'm thankful that Steve and I can stand arm in arm and get through these transitional times. We are seeking God's Word and praying together as we move to this new phase of life. I know it will be fun. We look forward to more time for just the two of us. Together we'll make it through the transition.

Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted to have Kelsey Lynn Ryan as our daughter-in-law. I could not have asked for a better young woman for Zane to spend the rest of his life with. But at one point I was the most important woman in his life. Now it's Kelsey. And as a mom, that transition is almost as difficult as the transition during the birthing process. But I know from experience that the pain of transition is worth it because afterward we get a beautiful new life added to our family.

So my advice to you today is to hug any woman in your life who has just married off their oldest son. I can assure you, they need the hug because transition sure ain't easy.

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