It is close to midnight on November 21st. I am taking a late-night moment to reflect. It is a momentous day. My first born turned 18 today. For those of you who have walked this walk to adulthood with your children already, I ask that you bear with me. This is my first one. I know, as with every milestone, it is bigger with her. I am in unfamiliar territory. That is part of the job of the firstborn…to pave the way for the others that follow. I must say that Hannah has handled this unspoken burden well. She has been the first to experience heartaches that come with being a teenager, the first to have braces, zits, and dates. Even now we prepare for her to go to college…first.
I do love this girl and I am so proud of the young lady she is becoming. I rejoice with her as she begins to spread her wings. I cannot wait to see all that God will do in her life. Yet it is a bittersweet road we are walking. She is reminding me that this is a year of “last times.” I think she is sad about it, and a bit afraid of going on…weren’t we all? She has said, more than once, “What am I going to do next year without you and dad to get advice from?” I tell her, “You will call us.” I will miss her curling up in the bed next to me at night just to talk. All of the kids started this while I was sick. It was like they would come to me, rather than have me come to them. They would just come and lay next to me just to tell me about their day, both successes and problems. It was a sweet time that has stuck beyond cancer. It is these times that I treasure with Hannah. We have grown closer this past year. It will make the separation harder for both of us, however, it is a new and necessary phase.
Eighteen years have flown by with the blink of an eye. She was a baby only yesterday. Then the toddling around grew into dancing. Her love for the Lord has blossomed and begun the long process of maturing as she has grown in stature. It is amazing to think of all the growth I have witnessed over her lifetime. In the years to come, her life will take shape before my eyes but away from my house. Now more than ever I am on my knees asking God to bless my precious daughter as she enters adulthood.