The sweetest tears are the tears our children shed when they are faced with growing up—leaving home—beginning a new and scary part of their lives. We ache with them because time does go by too fast for us as well as for them. Growing goes by in a flurry of holidays and vaccinations and shopping trips for new clothes. Being cared for transforms into being responsible for oneself and others. Mother’s hug becomes mother’s telephone call, text, or Facebook post.
When that wet cheek presses against our own tears and goodbye becomes so deep and sharp that we despair of tomorrow, it is then that we give thanks for the pain of separation. It is the blessing of love that neither child nor parent wants more than they already have. Each other. Close by.
This message is adapted from “Sweet Sorrow” written by Marj Leegard in the October 2004 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine. Today we remember Hildegard, abbess of Bingen, who died in 1179.