While I love to blog and record the details of life, to remember God's goodness and kindness, and tell what He's doing here, I also like to just live sometimes.
That's what I did the past few days.
These were Claire's last days at home. For quite a while.
She heads into her senior year at Moody Bible Institute this semester, and will graduate next December. While we hope to have her home for Christmas next year, she won't be coming this summer as she's done for the past few years (she's got a summer internship ahead of her in the States).
So I've been soaking up days at home with her this week.
But finally, her last day arrived yesterday. And all the "lasts" commenced. Like using the roller to take dog hair off her fleece jacket. Can't go back to school with dog hair on her! :)
This little one is quite confused about what's going on. And definitely had a hard day today with Claire gone. But that story is for another day.
Claire and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen these past weeks, so of course that's where I want to take a last picture of her, to remember those sweet times of cooking and baking together.
And take one last "sister" photo, as we laughingly call it!
Oh and yes, there's the last treat from big sister to little sister!
With goodbyes already having been said with her dad, we stop for one last moment on the driveway before heading off to the airport.
You would think after all these years of saying goodbyes--my own with my parents and the ones with our kids heading off/back to college--that I'd be an expert at it. Or at least not feel so sad or sentimental.
But alas, it does still tug at my heart to see them go.
I never think for a moment about them staying home. This isn't their world anymore. They all have big, wonderful worlds in other places that bring joy and delight to my heart because they're thriving there.
Yet still, there's an ache as we get in the car and drive away. I think that's a good thing.
Last summer Claire and I found a delightful coffee shop in Ostrava, in the most unexpected place. We decided to make that our last "normal" and stop for coffee.
It almost felt like we were here on a regular day, with nothing more to do than sit down, order something, and chat for the afternoon.
But one look at my beautiful girl and I'm feeling like a puddle. Because I know it's not that at all. It's our last time here, for at least a year.
I smile on the outside, because that's what you do. But on the inside I'm already feeling her absence.
And then, in what seems like a blink of an eye, we're at the airport. She checks in by herself because that's what adult, grown children do.
And suddenly it's time for the last photo together here in this place.
It's not that I want her to stay. It's not even that I won't see her for a long time (I'll actually see her in February!).
It's just that life is so sweet, so good and so enjoyable that you wish it could go on forever.
But life is funny. If it did go on like it has for the past three weeks, it wouldn't be so sweet, good and enjoyable. Because it wouldn't be right.
This three week holiday was EXACTLY what it was meant to be. Full of such precious times with this dear daughter of ours who we love and adore. But we know that she's not meant to stay here. At least not for now!
So we hug and kiss goodbye, and I stand watching her pass through security and on to her gate, headed away to Chicago to begin the next part of life as it should be.
And that's a very good thing, and exactly what I want for her.