Bobby on the AT

Somewhere on the AT, Autumn of 2004

The Lanes Machu Pichu

Visiting with our son at Machu Picchu 2008

   

The night before my son was to set out to hike the Appalachian Trail, he informed me that in one year’s time he would be leaving for a two-year mission trip to South America. Admittedly, that was quite a jolt! For it had not been easy to process the fact that he was about to solo hike this 2,000 plus mile trek! Now, this 2 year mission trip????!!!! I was beginning to feel a bit (nope, I was a lot)overwhelmed,

until God gave me the following council:

   I am really big on making positive memories (hey, even when you are having problems you can handle it in a way that will make the memory a positive one) . I have been deliberate about it as I raised my children.  Therefore, when the time came to say goodbye to my son, I knew that I DID NOT want to look back over that year only to recall a downcast mother, sighing over being separated from her one and only son. God reminded me that if I would only but cooperate with Him, He would see to it that every moment I had remaining with my son would be memorable. I decided the smart thing to do was to cooperate with God so I would be able to look back on that time with joy as I recalled those memorable moments we shared. That would be the best remedy for the inevitable sadness that would come AFTER my son’s departure. 

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   Now I realized I was to put that lesson learned 12  years prior, into practice in a way I had never expected. For here I am again, facing a situation all too familiar. My son, daughter in law, and two small grandsons are home for a short while (having returned from 4 1/2 years in a foreign country. The aftermath of that experience found its expression in this missionary’s mom blog). In about a month from now they will be leaving for my son to study abroad.

   Therefore, I don’t have a lot of time to make memories. So remembering the lesson from when my son was to leave for his first mission trip,  I realized I must not  waste a moment feeling sad over having to be separated from him yet again (only this time a daughter in law, and 2 grandsons are added to the mix). Experience has taught me the best remedy for the inevitable sadness that is sure to come once I have said good-bye is to have a store of joyous memories upon which to focus. 

Lessons learned from the past, continue to serve me well in the present.