I wrote this piece last night right before bed. “The Perfect Family” is my nickname for our neighbors who live across our little lake. I call them “The Perfect Family” because they are so fun and have a chocolate Labrador Retreiver.
The Perfect Family had a party tonight. It was their granddaughter’s high school graduation party. They made a bonfire and launched Chinese floating lanterns. You know the kind—made of paper with fire inside that float when released.
I went to a graduation party today too. It was for a family friend. My girls used to babysit this young lady and her younger siblings.
While watching The Perfect Family launch their lanterns, I started to feel nostalgic thinking of these two precious girls heading to college and how much their families will miss them, especially their moms. I started to relive the ache I felt when our girls left home.
And then I thought of how Gene and my lives are still so intertwined with our girls—all married, one grandchild, each living in different cities miles apart. Even today I did my best to balance time with each one—two on the phone and one here for supper after I spent the afternoon taking care of The Grand.
The thought occurred to me as I watched the last of the Chinese lanterns float away, “Quit feeling nostalgic. Jump into the wonderful crazy called your life and no looking back.”
My heart experienced many emotions when the girls left for college and then were married—wonderful, yes, but also grieving what would be no more. But now. Now is exciting and fun and an ever-the-changing adventure. I never know when a girl will call. I never know what news or emotion she will share or what invitation she will offer.
Tonight I am tired. But it’s a good-living-to-the-full tired.
As I look across the little lake, I see they are launching a couple of more lanterns right now. I am excited for these girls and their families. The best is yet to come. I know. I’m living it.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.