The boys and I arrived home from the Senior High Youth gathering on Sunday afternoon. We spent the weekend in Estes Park with about 600 high schoolers from all over that go to the Lutheran church. I had a small group and my son had a small group. The theme for the weekend was GPS...God's Positioning System. I know this all sounds so "religious" and it is. To be honest, I love this stuff.
The weekend was about "who or what is your life compass?" and I think the whole world could take a look at who they follow and what is really important. But, I digress. I enjoyed the weekend, the food was good, and I got a good, hard slap in the face during some of the talks. My "compass" gets left places while I pursue things that I ought not... so this was a good reminder.
The best part of the weekend and coming week was being with the whole family. While the boys and I were doing our thing, Jim picked up the Queen from college and when we got home...there she was in all her Queenly glory. This kid is a gem and college agrees with her.
She and her father made a lovely dinner of roasted chicken and vegetables. They called us to the table and we had trouble figuring out who was to sit where. We have adjusted since she left and we have new places to sit at dinner. I hadn't thought about how far we had come with letting the Queen go and live her life...but we have.
It's bittersweet, this letting go. I am not good at it and I doubt that I will ever be. I got a taste of the feelings welling up in my soul about my middle child at the gathering. At the end of the weekend, there is always a church service of sorts. It is contemporary and cool...trying to appeal to the younger set. This service was called a "Thomas Mass" and it had areas to move and do things to appeal to all the senses.
I went to the baptism one, where you are supposed to remember who you are and who loves you, I walked the labryinth to quiet my mind and then I wandered around. I decided to go to the prayer station although there wasn't really anything could think about to pray for. But, I thought, I am never going to turn down a free prayer! I walked up to the station, and a woman grabbed my hand and asked me what was on my mind. Before I could get my head to think, tears sprang to my eyes..."My son is leaving for college next year and I want to pray for him" I heard myself say. "Is he having problems that we need to focus on?" she asked. "No, but I am just going to miss him and once again, that pain of change is going to hit me hard, I think." My face was soaked, the snot was running out of my nose and I couldn't stop.
She grabbed her annointing oil and made a cross on my head. Then she started talking to God, praying for all the things I mentioned and didn't mention. When she was done, I walked away wiping my eyes and nose and wondered where all this emotion came from. I have been telling this boy to get moving on college apps and trying to help him understand what he wants to do and what stirs his soul. I think I just left the other feelings because I have to or I wouldn't get out of bed.
To top it off, my youngest son is getting his permit on December 1st. I will be sitting in the passenger seat terrified that we are going to die for the next few months. But, its all part of the all-inclusive package I signed up for before I knew what I was getting into.
Last night, I sat on the couch trying to make a rag rug. The Queen sat down with my son's guitar and started playing. My middle son picked up the ukelele and joined her. My youngest sat with us for a minute before he needed to go do something else. The two older ones started singing and teaching each other songs and chords. I sat there, watching and thinking about what I was looking at. These two kids, my kids but really no longer kids...have become very decent people.
They seem to understand life better than me sometimes...they know right from wrong and they have to make their own mistakes. The hard part is watching them leave.
I am not so good at that...do you think it's because I have so much work to do on me? Probably. And, I would rather not look too deep into me because it's overwhelming.
So, today, Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I am thankful. For too much, too little and for solid hearts and souls of loving people. I am working...I'll go visit a few folks that need nursing care to stay healthy and to die peacefully. Hopefully, I can remember my compass and focus on what's important and not get caught up in the stuff that just doesn't matter. Yeah...that's what I am gonna try to focus on...gonna give it a good try.
Happy Tuesday before Thanksgiving...start making the food!
We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,