Today held such a mixture of emotions. Christopher and I were at the mall when it opened this morning so he could show me the suit he had picked out the day before. He needed a new suit for an important dance this evening (the homeschool equivalent of a prom) and his sister offered him one for a graduation present. She even told him exactly what colors to pick out and they truly were perfect. There is that "design sense" at work again.
He left this afternoon to meet a group of young people who will be going to the dance in two different vans. That's one thing about homeschool events, they aren't necessarily in your home county! :)
I am so glad we took part in all the graduation activities, even though it meant spending a great deal of extra time and money. Such celebrations... rights of passage so to speak... or important for young people. Those altars of remembrance we build throughout family life. As Edith Schaeffer often said, how important it is that there is a person who makes certain landmark events are remembered and celebrated.
Not only the big things like birthdays, holidays, and graduations... but all those little happenings that are important to the smallest around us... like Elizabeth finally losing a tooth today! That is a big deal in her world right now. Faith's birthday is next week (July 4th!) and Grammie must get her package sent.
Then there are those events in life that we do not look forward to, those we know that if we live long enough, we will experience from time to time. Uncle Gibby (aka: The Old Coot) passed away this morning. I had an e-mail from my niece today and a call from my sister about an hour ago. How good it is when we can turn tears to laughter as we remembered a life well lived. He was a good man.
My other brother-in-law (the one who lives in the same area as we do) has been in ill health for years. Yet, he lingers on... Gib has had minor health problems that come with age but he was only diagnosed with cancer a couple weeks ago. It is hard to grasp that there will be no more jokes or comments about the government coming from that e-mail address, anymore. Uncle Gibby worked for the government in Washington, D.C. for twenty years. He had some good stories.
I told Jean today that I won't try to fly to Florida. I don't think I can handle the travel right now (although the New England contingent offered to pay for the trip). No... I'll pray for them and talk over the phone, which is the best I can do for now. Jean may visit soon, especially as the vacant seat at the table becomes more real. There will come a time when "coming home" will be what she needs the most.
We'll visit mom's grave and have lunch a couple of times at our favorite cafeteria. It was mom's favorite, too. I'm sure she will meet with nieces and nephews to visit the resting place of our brother and our sister and get caught up on family gossip. If she comes in the summer, we'll chat about how high the corn is this year and if the river is still at flood stage. If autumn finds her back home, she will enjoy seeing the changing leaves, yellow and gold mums, woodsmoke in the distance, and sitting on the porch in the cool of the evening. Florida doesn't have a lot of corn... or leaves that are red and gold.
We'll think about the seasons and the years, the people we miss, those we look forward to seeing again someday. Too many empty places at the table. But we can't concentrate on that for there is another generation... children and grandchildren... nieces and nephews... friends and family. Life goes on. But for tonight, we will cry for those who have left an empty seat at the table... and e-mails we will no longer receive.
Picture: Water Baby and the Moon; allposters.com