16 April 2005
I still remember reading “the” books when Cherry and I were new parents. Somehow the messages two-decades old lingers, as if they are echoes I should remember even now. At least once a week, as I travel on the train or sit restlessly on a plane, I wish I could pass on these lessons to the young parents around me, but that is another story for another day. Once early piece of advice centered on good-byes, being away, and returning. Human relationships rebel even at that age! Parents want to be with their new children, frightened of what might happen if they are away. Kids think life revolves around the parents; it will end if they are not there.
With time both sides learn that neither extreme is true. Yet there is a lingering question which rests with parents; how am I leaving my child? Is she, or he, in good shape? Do they have confidence to face the world? Will they remember the safety-net which will always be there? Can they understand how loved, treasured, and valuable they are?
It might seem impossible to answer every question. Even statements of assurance have a ring of uncertainty in them. Listen to Jesus words when his “kids” were reacting to his approaching departure. “I'm leaving you well and whole. That's my parting gift to you. Peace. I don't leave you the way you're used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don't be upset. Don't be distraught.” (John 14.27)
People in relationships, family, parents, and lovers, often find themselves struggling to trust the relationship when they are not present. The underlying fears, needs, and intents all mush together into an unrecognizable soup, even to those involved!
To any I have known or will know I would say this;
Your best will always be my dream, thank-you for being part of mine.
Your freedom will always be treasured, thank-you for letting me into yours.
Your hopes will always be admired, thank-you for the life they have given mine.
Remember, changes are merely first act for a new hello.
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