I'm praying today for the Boy Scouts killed in Iowa last evening by the tornado, and for their parents.
As a mom, one of the hardest things to do is to let your child out from under your watch, whether it's the first day of school, a sleepover, a date or college.
You try to be strong, and hope that all you have taught them will kick in at the right moment. But a full release is so hard, because there are so many things out of your control.
Will is on his mission trip this week. The first time away from us, if you don't count those weeks with grandma and grandpa in Ohio. He is with great leaders, in a safe and well-planned out program. He sounds like he is having a good time, and he has met new people (including Jerry Rice's son -- I'm looking forward to that whole story when he gets back.)
But when I said good-bye to him Saturday, I counted on seeing him again in a week. Just like those scouts' moms did. I can't imagine never seeing my bright young boy again.
About five years ago, our dear friends lost their 18-year-old son, CB, in a tragic car accident. I remember literally falling to my knees when I heard the news, and the memory of the days leading up to the funeral and the service itself will be with me forever. Amid the sadness, there was so much wisdom. Gary, CB's dad, somehow mustered the courage to speak; he read Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar" and said a few words on behalf of the family. The most important thing he said was that every day they told their two children that they loved them, and he asked everyone there to always do the same.
I think we always did that, but after that day, we were much more conscious of it, perhaps in honor of CB's family. When our kids left for school, before we said good-bye on the phone, now when the girls leave for their own homes and even when we're cranky with each other -- we always say "love you." Because we do. And if something were to happen and we never saw each other again, there would be no question that they were loved, and life was better because of that.