Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Left a piece of my heart at a dorm room 2 hours away from home today.

I left my third and youngest child at college today. I left my oldest at college exactly ten years ago.  You would think it gets easier but it doesn't.  We're a normal family in that we drive each other crazy from time to time but we've been blessed with a happy home, filled with laughter and joy.  We are closer than most families.   It is hard.   I miss her terribly already.

She is loving, smart, intuitive, has a really good sense of humor, she always made good choices in friends.  I trust her implicitly because she gave me every reason to.  She told me she wasn't going to miss me telling her to do her chores, which she rarely did without exhaustive efforts on my part to hold her accountable for doing them.    (My most successful achievements as a mother are definitely not in this category!).

We do the best we can with what we've got.   It is rarely perfect.   When the day comes, in faith, we place our children in Christ's loving hands.  We ask the Blessed Mother to watch over them.  St. Michael.  Their guardian angels.    We praise God for the love, precious gifts and treasures bringing a life into this world have brought to us.  We look forward to the changes and blessings that God will bring into each of our lives in the transitions.  

Sometimes, there is a nanosecond of promise, hope and the change we can all believe in.    :O)

Father, bless and protect all children who are leaving the comforts and securities of their friends, family and home.  We ask this in the Name of Your Son and Our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Lynne said...

So the nest is empty now? (at least temporarily) ;-)

Carol McKinley said...

Hi Lynne,

My middle chold commutes so I don't think I qualify. The chaos of moving day and dramas did not assist me in my cause to get him to do his last two years as a resident!

How about you? Is your daughter settled in? How has your transition been?

Anonymous said...

You've got me crying now Carol! My youngest son left last week..I miss him soooo much.

I'm thankful for the blessing of being a mother . Nothing in my life compares to it.

Keep them all in the palm of your hand Lord !


Carol McKinley said...

Oh Caroline, can I ever relate! How is it going?

Saying we miss them is an understatement.

Being a mother is the most powerful vocation on earth. The enrichment in every day can be compared to nothing else.

Before motherhood, I observed and asked many questions and sought advise from wise women whose children turned out fabulous. Several of them told me the most important thing as far as they were concerned was to be physically present and available when your children got off the school bus. There is no time like that moment for the children to share their concerns, fears, challenges and acheivements and to offer them advice, counsel, comfort. It turned out to be sage advice.

When I finally had to work outside the home, I could see a difference. I had to find challenging ways to make up for it - and there are many ways to make up for it.

When your children vent to you, there is a touchpoint every day. That vacuum with each child is wrenching. Finding the right space is a discipline. It is really a thoughtful and prayerful discovery.

Carol McKinley said...

Oops, sorry about the advise where it should say advice boo boo. These tiny keys and tiny print on pda's are killing me!

Anonymous said...

I can still remember the day my oldest son (then 3) said "mommy when I grow up I'm gonna live right upstairs from you and daddy." He laughs when I remind him of that now...he left to be on his own 7 years ago. My husband jokes that he hopes it's not a prophecy of some kind!

We have had our trials and errors, but we are a really close family too. Hard to let them go...I know they've taught me as much as I've taught them...maybe more.

As a young mom I had this whole life planned for myself once they were in school.Then the Lord called me to home school. I cried for 3 days..He dragged me in and 14 years later I was crying because it was over.

Now that the youngest is gone I told the Lord I guess I'm ready for the next assignment. Well, not REALLY ready just willing...

When I walk into the empty rooms though I tear up cause I know whatever I do from this point on won't hold a candle to the joy I had being their mom.

Blessings and Pax+


Anonymous said...

Only 3 kids?

Really Carol?

That's some good NFP'ing there....

Carol McKinley said...

You must be new around here? I have been very vocal about my own difficulty with the teaching of the Church on contraception until the latter part of my 20s when Pope John Paul II called my conscience to be open to the truth.

Funny how my conversion happened. I expressed a desire to teach CCD but told the priest I was struggling with our teachings on contraception but I would never scandalize the children by revealing my own difficulty.I told him I would do my homework and teach the teachings of the Church. While doing my homework to sell it to the children, it suddenly all made sense and I could see the beauty.

When I did, I felt robbed by teachers, priests and lay people who had kept me from a deep intimate relationship with Christ.

This actually was the inspiration for me to be out in the public square - trying to keep others from being duped away from Christ.

I LOVED NFP. It came naturally to me. (No pun intended!)

All three of my children were born using NFP and I lost two other children. One early and another at 14 weeks.

Jerry said...

Congrats on the big event. I have 5 more years before #1 goes.

NFP? Yuk. My wife and I had two pre-nup's, no NFP and no pets. Now wait -- that means no birth control, natural or unnatural. We're the folks called "irresponsible" and "providentialists" by the conservative faction. As far as we're concerned, NFP represents a denial of the primary end of marriage, and is one deadly prong of the gnostic sex cult in the Church today.

Nothing personal. Just sayin'.

Carol McKinley said...


You're absolutely right that NFP is a least common denominator in collaboration with God.

I really admire your witness to faith and trust in God. It's really a blessing to have you driving abandonment and surrender in the com boxes.

Jerry said...

Remember Fr. Habinger of Human Life International? He'd get really riled by anti-NFP'ers, as would Fr. Marx. A friend of my sister-in-law told Fr. H. once that she loved NFP because it enabled her to have 10 kids. Got him hoppin' mad. I can't find a moral problem with that use of NFP, except the thought of it is still ... yuk!

Carol McKinley said...

You'd have to go a long way to find a moral problem with NFP. People who are doing open the door to God's will. They may not be walking through the door until they think they can provide for a child, but they are in surrender.

NFP doesn't have to be yucky. Though not always, it is discreet for the overwhelming majority of women if they are vigilant about learning the particulars about the cycles of her own body and learns to recognize how her body responds to ovulation.

And, when you want to get pregnant, with NFP, a month or two later, you are (so long as there's nothing medical going on of course).

The Church has not done a stellar job of giving the witness of the love for God that is behind the total surrender (or even NFP) so there are Catholics who don't see it. But I think (hope?) most of us do who are on the 'into your hands I commend my spirit' road.

NFP is definitely not the same thing as total surrender. Total surrender is a place where trust and love for God has been perfected. It's like the Catholic Olympic team. We watch you with great admiration and keep striving.

Jerry said...

I'm sure that NFP, as practiced today, will be put in the wastebin with other 20th Century novelties (e.g., interreligious dialogue, girl altar boys) once the Church straightens out. Deliberately abusing the faculty of marriage so as to limit family size was always regarded as a fault, even sinful (cf. St. Augustine). The hierarchy is leading souls into sin by omitting the complete teaching, namely, there must be a grave reason to do that. "We've reached our limit" doesn't qualify, as marriage is firstly about children (another omitted teaching). Never was NFP (rhythm, etc.) looked on as virtuous, as it is today.

Carol McKinley said...

All I can think of to say is 'faith like this we have not seen in all of Israel'.

You're inspiring!