We took Danielle to begin the next phase of her life on Friday as she began the journey of a college student at Cedarville University. What a joy for me as she experiences all the wonderful things at this great university that her dad and I experienced. What a comforting thought to know she will become even more grounded in her faith by hearing great men of faith share what God is doing in their lives. She will have a better grasp of doctrine and theology as she takes Bible classes and learns how to integrate her faith with the other aspects of her education. She will make many new friends which she has been longing to do for so long who will also build into her life. So many good things that my dear, sweet daughter is embarking on in this next stage of her life.
I cleaned her room when I got home. It took me some time to muster the courage to go into her room and start the process. Yet, it needed to be done. She reminds me of myself as I found so many cute things that she saved. It is hard to let go of the memories that these objects or notes reminded her of. I didn’t throw anything away, okay maybe a few things, but I put it all away in a box that we can go through later and share the memories together these things remind us of. We moved out her desk and in its place I put my Grandma’s chair and the quilt that my Grandma spent seven years making by hand. This lovely quilt is now being showcased on a lovely quilt rack. Now that Danielle’s room is clean and the clutter put away, it doesn’t looked lived in anymore. No more skating equipment scattered around the room, or miscellaneous paper, or empty candy wrappers. No more stacks of library books sitting next to the bed waiting to be read. No more sleepy girl to wake up every morning.
As life marches on and we see the next stage that begins to unfold, we must live life not with regret but with joy. Joy over the many shared experiences, joy over the next stage of life to unfold, joy at watching my sweet little whippoorwill leaving the nest and flying on her own. I realize so much more how important people and relationships are.
As I begin to enter a new stage of my life, I want to remember to embrace every moment. Live life to the fullest. People are special and need to be reminded of that. Enjoy the sweet memories from the past and treasure every opportunity to make new ones in the future. Messy, dusty, smelly rooms need to be embraced because they show a life well lived with memories being shared from every corner. I will shed many more tears as I miss having Danielle around every day, but life marches on and this next phase is good. After all, do I want a thirty year old daughter living in our basement living an unproductive life when there is so much in this world our God created and planned for her to do. So with sad excitement I say to me and I say to Danielle, Carpe Diem…seize the day and make the most of every opportunity God has given us.