For as long as I can remember I had always wanted to be a mother. When the doctors told me that I only had a fifty-percent chance of having a child, I could not imagine my life without children. So when I found out I was pregnant, I was elated. Wanting this baby so badly, I was afraid throughout the pregnancy that something would happen. Like so many other expectant mothers, there were countless times I prayed: Lord, please help me to deliver a healthy baby.
The night my daughter was born, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. Placing my finger inside of her little hand, she grasped a hold of it as if she would never let go. In that moment I could not have imagined that someday she actually would. When I looked deep into her slate blue eyes, trying to catch a glimpse of who she was, I saw instead possibilities as vast as the universe itself. Deserving the best I could give to her, there were countless times thereafter I prayed: Lord, help me to be a good mother to my little girl.
Soon she was pulling herself up and holding onto the furniture. With our arms reaching out to one another, she put one foot in front of the other. When she toppled over, I was there to catch her. Only the first of many steps she would take in her life, I realized I could not always be there when she stumbled and fell. After she had drifted off to sleep at night, I would often stand at her bedside and listen to the reassuring sound of her rhythmic breathing. On countless nights I prayed: Lord, help me keep my daughter safe.
The early years passed quickly and it was time for her to go to school. Dressed in her favorite outfit and a new pair of shoes, she clutched her lunchbox in one hand and my own in the other. With one last embrace I assured her I would be there at the end of the day. Knowing that school had a lot to teach her but that I did as well, leaving school that day and countless other days I prayed: Lord, help me to teach her the many important things she needs learn in her life.
When it was time for her to go away to college, I was as excited for her as she was. After setting up her room with all the “essentials” of dorm life, she walked me to my car. We hugged and said good bye. But the moment she turned and began to walk away, the tears seemed to come out of nowhere. In that moment I prayed the first of countless such prayers: Lord, help her to make good decisions on her own.
Two years after graduating from college my daughter was happily married and living across town. But last week she and her husband packed up their life here to move halfway across the country. Saying good bye to my daughter was extremely hard. Any hope of parting without tears quickly proved futile.
“I’m sorry, Mommy,” she said as we held on to each other and sobbed.
“Its O.K. honey,” I told her.
“I know how hard this is on you, Mom. I’m so sorry to be hurting you.”
“It’s all right; really, I don’t want you to feel guilty.” Feeling the weight of the guilt she carried, I needed to let her go. Calming our sobs we managed to part with a smile.
As I drove away my tears returned with a vengeance. This time I prayed:
Lord, all I have ever wanted is what is best for my daughter. Now she is moving far away and my heart is breaking. I don’t want her to go, but I have learned over the years that I cannot always know what is best for her, but that you do. Lord, I put my trust in you.
There was a moment that night when we said good bye that I looked into her eyes and saw the truth that I have always known was there. I saw that our hearts are connected, and that they always would be. Even though there will be many miles between us, nothing can come between the closeness the two of us share. We have been blessed with a special kind of love—a mother-daughter love.
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