“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.” A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Tim McGraw and Allen Jackson greeted me at the Nashville airport! Well, it was actually just their recorded voices on the overhead speaker welcoming me, but I’ll take what I can get! The only stars I saw were autographed framed pictures hanging on walls.
My Southwest jet is taking me far away from Nashville and my favorite second child begins to decide what job to accept (yes, she has offers!), I’m replaying in my mind many “pulling away moments” that got us to this day. Bear with me, the list is long even though I probably have left out important moments!
- September 14, 1988~after a rough early morning of labor, an adorable 6 lb. 8 oz. baby girl leaves her Mama and makes her appearance. Precious girl is adored by her big brother and parents...
- Crawling, walking, chasing Duke the Lab and her big brother in Indianapolis. She’s spunky and petite.
- Starting Preschool & playdates in Carmel, Indiana. (Mommy wasn’t invited to stay...)
- First bus ride (kindergarten in Grayslake Illinois-she survived a class of 35 & multiple lice checks...thankfully the critters never came home with her.) Four kids, LOTS of different schools, teaching in many classrooms and “knock on wood”, the Carver Clan has escaped buying that special shampoo.
- Talented girlie spends time away from Mommy at Gymnastics and piano lessons.
- Christian Camps; Phantom Ranch in Wisconsin, Young Life camps in the Northwest, church camp in California.
- Mission trips; high school to Mexico, Jamaica in College.
- Emotionally pulling away (teen years-she and I tended to “butt heads often-I learned to hope and believe that with time things would improve.) It took quite a few years but oh I love our relationship now!
- Her Daddy and I pulling away after dropping her off at Whitworth University.
- Pulling away crying my eyes out after dropping her off at SeaTac for her spring study at Capernwray in England.
- Being away from her during college summers while she worked as a camp counselor and being FAR away during her student teaching in Costa Rico.
- Watching her leave for a year internship at the Covenant Church in Davis California.
Notice a theme? My daughter is fiercely independent and loves to experience new places.
So now...here we are. We had to hug and say
goodbye see you later, once again. This time I know it’s where she’s supposed to be (but it’s so far!) Our daughter is an amazing young woman who loves the Lord and loves people and loves adventure and IS BRAVE.
I’m not quite as brave...Even though I've had practice watching her leave over the last 25 years, the sight of Juan Pablo the Jeep pulling away from the curb was not my favorite sight.
Focussing on all the good that is happening for her, thinking how blessed I am that she gets to follow her heart, and sitting by a young soldier named Skyler who is saying goodbye to his family before deploying to Afghanistan brings me to a place of gratefulness instead of a complete crying mess.
I cried a few tears, drank a good Tennessee beer complete with live music, had a talk with my husband and have a new book on tape to enjoy.
I’ve done the difficult job of allowing her to pull away one step at a time. The good news is, like I read in Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle, “When we loosen our grip, he tightens his.”
Somewhere between Denver and Seattle I’m going to enjoy the piece of Pecan Pie I brought with me from the amazing Loveless Cafe. (I just found out that today is national pie day! Who knew?)
My last Nashville meal included fried chicken, mashed potatoes with chicken gravy, mac and cheese, biscuits, and of course more sweet tea. If you see me “rolling around” the Harbor with tears in my eyes as I look at my Weight Watchers App, you’ll understand...
In His Grip, Jane
Apparently after I left my daughter she went downtown and saw them filming a scene for the T.V. show Nashville.