Sunday, October 12, 2014

Just a thought ~ on turning 48 and moving away.

So my birthday was last week.  I turned 48.  The day before, I went into the pharmacy to pick up a few things.  At the beauty counter where I went to pay for my purchases, the saleswoman offered to give me some free samples, and started rifling through a stack of little sealed packets of facial creams and cleansers.  As she flipped through them, I heard her say softly to herself, "Not this one, you're not old enough for this one, no, not this one either..."

I have a confession to make.  Without a blessed ounce of humility, I leaned forward and said, "It's okay, I'm going to be 48."  I'd like to think that what I really meant was, "Honey, I am plenty old enough for that age defying, wrinkle plumping, skin smoothing, surgical-results-without-the-scalpel magic beauty cream! Pass it on over!"

What I really meant? Oh dear. Okay, here goes. What I really meant was, "Oh yes ma'am, I know very well that I don't look my age and I have it on great authority that the little frowny lines between my eyes are adorable so I'm keeping them.  But still, pass the magic cream samples because, you know, I'll tuck them away for when I am old. Someday. Some far, far day, far, far away."

The saleswoman oohed and awwed about my lack of facial wrinkleage.  I took a shot at humility and told her that I had had oily skin all of my life, and so that was probably why I am wrinkle-deficient.  She nodded knowingly.  

"Ah yes," she smiled at me. "With dry skin, the face wrinkles. With oily skin, it sags."

And there we were, right back at Humblesville.  

Home sweet home.

The next day, on my birthday, I went to Ottawa with my dear friend Sandy and my daughter, Grace.  Grace had an appointment to apply for a two year work visa to the UK.  For months she has been working on pulling together what she needed to be able to apply for this visa.  She knows the UK immigration website better that it's creator probably does.  She planned and organized and worked and sweated, and yes, there was also a fair share of weeping and wailing, as is wont in any bureaucratic endeavor. Still, with her own dedication and persistence and with lots of help from friends and family, she got everything she needed.

Once she applied for it, the visa could feasibly be granting within two weeks. She will be free to head to England any time after that.  My head says that this is a good thing. She has dreamed of this for many years.  She is in a loving relationship with a wonderful young man, Darren, and will be staying with him and his family.  I am so proud of her, of them both, and I am beyond thrilled that they are going to be able to go on this incredible adventure together.  

My heart is conflicted.  I am filled with love for Grace and Darren, with gratitude for his family and their love and care for my daughter, with excitement at this new stage of life that Grace is entering.  

At the same time, England is crazy far away!  Like, way far.  Across the sea, far.

My baby girl is moving so far away, and this is not going to be easy.

Such is the conflicting insanity that is parental love, that I would find myself in the washroom at the immigration place in Ottawa, praying that Grace's application would be accepted, discreetly reminding God that it was my birthday and that this would be a lovely birthday present.

"Dear God, remember how it's my birthday today? I was wondering, could you please arrange for my child's visa application to the UK to be accepted without incident so that she can move way too far away while I crawl into a weeping heap and wail in the searing pain of separating from her?  Please?  Thanks. Amen.'

The insanity part comes into play in that I sincerely mean it all.  I am so happy for her! This might just kill me! Yaaaaay!  Ahhhhh!

I am comforted by the fact that I am going on an adventure of my own. I am moving to Massachusetts, just as soon as the U.S government gives me permission to marry my sweet hunny.  I am going to become part of a new family, with kids and parents and stepsisters and brothers, and another niece and nephew.  

God has prepared me for such a time as this.  This beautiful child was given to us and my heart is filled with gratitude. Her name is a constant reminder that her presence in my life has been a result of God's grace, and not of my deserving.  We are both entering a new season of our lives, with new joys and new challenges.  We are not walking anywhere that God has not already been, and I know that Grace is trusting Him with her life, as am I.  I have watched both Grace and Darren grow in faith and trust through this process of preparing to be together.  The loveliest thing is that when one of them falters, the other steps up and brings God's faithfulness and love to the table, encouraging and lifting up the other.  They do this all the time, and I am blessed to be able to witness them as they build each other up in Christ.  

 I'm 48 now. There are many changes happening.  Both Grace and I are moving in different directions physically, and yet we are and will always remain united in faith and love and in our precious mother/daughterness.  

And apparently, someday, my oily skin face is going to sag. 

There really is never a dull moment, is there?

My Zimbio