I’d always thought I’d have daughters.
I wasn’t disappointed when I ended up with the boys, how could I be? My boys were handsome, healthy, good boys. Never did a mother love her sons more.
And oh, they were respectful of their dad and I. When we knew we’d have to move, they never complained at all. They tried to make it easier for us along the way.
“What will our new friends be like?” Kyle wondered.
“We’re going to have lots of good food to eat. So much that we’ll grow taller than you, Mom. We’ll get as tall as Dad!” Lon chattered.
Yes, they made life good.
Some years after the move, Lon came to us and announced, “I’ve met someone. I love her and I know you will too.”
Well, what did I expect - a girl from the old neighborhood to happen along instead? I sent that twinge of doubtfulness packing and guess what? The girl was as sweet as a honeysuckle blossom. Yes, of course I would love her.
So I shouldn’t have been so surprised when Kyle came and put his arm around me and said, “Mom, there’s a girl as pretty as an opening rose, she’s special as life to me. Please love her as you love me.”
So my second son would follow the way his brother went. It was a good way. And I did love both those girls; they so loved and made my sons happy.
Then, tragically, my dear, strong husband, my partner in life, was taken from me. How I mourned him! If not for my sons and now those daughters too, how would I have gotten through those dark days?
Then, another tragedy! The sea took my tall, strapping Lon. I reeled in anguish. Before I could recover, a furious storm came and took wonderful, happy Kyle and then I wanted to die too.
What now? How can this be? My heart has been ripped out and laid bare. The babes of my womb, the sons of my delight - gone. I am alone, cold and empty.
I beseeched my God, “Why not take me? Of what use am I to anyone without them? I am an aging woman with little means of support. You have taken my husband, my sons. I have nothing - but daughters.”
My daughters! If I love them I must let them go!
I sat with them, grasping their hands, directing them one last time. “Please listen daughters. You are young. Return to your mothers’ homes while you have your lives ahead of you. Your mothers will be blessed to have you back just as I have been blessed by you.”
Their hands rose in alarm to their dear, surprised faces. “No, we will not leave you,” they cried at once. “You have loved and cared for us as if we were your own. We don’t want to leave you.”
My heart swelled in my breast, my eyes glassed over, my throat tightened so I could barely speak.
Dear ones. We held each other and cried.
After a time I spoke again.
“Daughters, I cannot support you nor yet can I provide you with husbands. It is so hard to let you go, but you will find happiness again and I won’t stand between you and your lives.”
My wise and logical daughter cried hard and clung to me before leaving her kiss on my cheek and returning to her own dear mother.
My other daughter had a different kind of resolve. She said the most timeless and remarkable things to me. “Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God, my God.”
I didn’t know I would have daughters like this. I do not understand the way my life has gone. I am sore, but not alone. I was fearful, but am comforted. I miss my loved ones in a very deep and empty place, but I find I am still loved.
I don’t know what we will do, how we will make it, yet I have faith to go on and to try. More than that, (maybe it is the wanderings of an old mind growing feeble), but I believe there is yet something wonderful that will bloom as a result of my circumstances.
May God’s will be done.
Bible verse: Ruth 1:16, NIV
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