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What is there to tell about your life?

I’ll tell you what there is to tell about mine; everything. Please don’t panic and click the back arrow. My intent is not to share every boring or gory detail. Rather, I long to reveal both the mundane and miraculous aspects of my life in which God shows up and reminds me that He is my everything. And, everything He does is worth telling.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Life Goes On

Brandon and Matthew walked hand-in-hand across the parking lot of the Olive Garden restaurant in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We spent the day moving Brandon into his dorm and Matthew held Brandon's hand everywhere he went ... Brandon let him. They both knew good-bye waited around every corner.

“You’re staying one night, correct?” asked the clerk behind the check-in desk at the Holiday Inn.

“Yes, we are heading back to Dallas tomorrow. We dropped off our eldest son at University of Arkansas this morning,” I said.

“Yeah, my brother is living in a dorm now,” Matthew added.

“Are you going to miss him?” she asked, peering over the counter.

“Yeah, but he’s not gone forever,” repeating the words we said to him earlier in the day. “We’ll see him at Easter and Christmas and Halloween,” he counted days on his fingers, holding them up for the clerk to see.

She smiled at me, “He’s so cute.”

“Thanks. He’ll miss his brother,” I said with tears in my eyes.

I held back tears when we dropped Brandon off at the dorm that morning. We spent three days moving him and his roommate – his best friend since grade two – into their dorm. Our families stocked their room with college essentials:

• Three crates of Ramen noodles
• Easy Mac
• Coffee
• Candy
• Energy drinks
• Granola bars
• Cleaning supplies in hopes that they’d actually use them.

After months of college tests and applications, dorm selection, buying school supplies, books and new clothes seeing the results of our efforts come together as the plain dorm room transformed into a personal space full of pictures and comforts from home felt good; a job well done.

“Have fun. You’ll do great.” We left him standing at the sidewalk near his dorm.

Four hours later at the counter of the Holiday Inn it hit me … yes, we’d be together on the big days Matthew counted off on his fingers but the little everyday things were now out of reach. Only the words of Robert Frost did justice to my feelings, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.”

We take no solace in the fact we have to do this all over again in 14 years when Matthew heads off to college. God will prepare our hearts we know but I also know I won’t be able to hold back my tears until I get back to the hotel that night or Lord help that poor girl behind the check-in desk.


Mary McDowell said...

Yep, I cried...I cried hard that day and I cried again reading this. It comes and goes and I have to put it away. It's so exciting for them, but it's hard on everyone to be apart. But luckily they have each other and a great friendship to keep themselves company

Kristin Early said...

Robb cried too ... I should have warned him because he read it at the office! I admitt I cried when I posted it. The picture really got me. Robb sent it to Brandon and he said he liked it and wants us to send him more pictures. I know today is a HUGE day for them ... and us. I'm sending you a big hug :-)

Glynnis Whitwer said...

Knowing it has to happen doesn't make it any easier. Saying good bye to life as we knew itYis hard. After a time of sadness, I pray God fills your heart with excitement about life as it will be. Different? yes. Better? With God involved, absolutely! Praying for Brandon, you, Robb and little Matthew.

Mary McDowell said...

Ok - I don't think I am going to be able to read your posts. Because I revisit your site today, and read it again, saw the picture and then read your comment!! I am going to work on some pictures for him tomorrow. Justin has been lonely - but Skype really helps out. What your friend said about saying goodbye to the life you knew is SO true. I'm so excited for them, but know that this is the beginning of them being adults and I guess I wasn't quite ready - but then again, will we ever truly be ready for any milestone in life. :)