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As hours slip away, we three edge closer to the inevitable.

To the unfolding of her future, miles from home.

To my own prospects of returning to this nest—empty.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ten years ago this month our son flew to Virginia with his mom.

To venture into manhood.

To fill his mind, to grow and build

and discover God’s purpose.

This is what the past eighteen years were for,

God reminded me.

What if he falls? I asked.

I’ll be there, He answered.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Last weekend I still had time.

Time to prepare.

Time for tasks and appointments and collecting necessary stuff.

So she’d be ready.

For this weekend.

But in these few last days,

clouds dim her countenance,

where sunlight so often rests.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My heart knows her leaving is good, right.

Yet this heart bleeds even before the separation begins.

These unfamiliar tasks scream of last week.

This is the last week.

Of being a little girl. Of being mommy.

Em's baby things, 1-001

What will I do? I ask.

Trust Me, He answers.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Starlings and swallows, eagles and hawks

soar over these golden hills

above oaks and canyons and creeks, now dry.

Landing on country roads,

these creatures know when danger approaches,

when tires rumble on pavement,

giving warning to fly away.

But baby woodpeckers do not know to flee.

And when the thunderous shadow overtakes,

their wings spread to lift too late.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

All her life I have been mama bear.

Nurturing, providing,

protecting, scolding,

comforting, instructing,

loving, loving,

loving, loving…

ever loving.

But the day comes, now too soon,

when I must be mama bird,

to nudge my baby from the nest.

Our thoughts merge into one…

The ground is hard,

the world grows dark,

and bones are light,

and there is still so much yet unknown, unlearned, untried.

While checking off items from my usual list,

un-usual notes exist for this week only,

this last week before…

She swallows tears while filling boxes,

and soft laughter resonates hollow,

as duty keeps her mobile.

And my heart begins to bleed.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Only the closest segment of this path rests under the Light.

Her mind struggles to believe what she cannot see,

her heart pains to leave what she’s come to love.

Looking to me with eyes pleading,

Where will this lead? she wants to know.

Trust Him. He knows, I whisper.

And my faith is tested

in believing for her.

But believe I do.