The Last Good-bye
Inevitably, there will always be the last good-bye when your child leaves home for college. A time when you must release them to the world; because the world has been waiting.
A Bittersweet moment
Seeing my daughter walk away into her new life, and knowing that from this moment forward nothing would be the same, was a bittersweet memory.
I remembered the first day of kindergarten, as I held her hand bravely letting her go for the first time, as she cried “Mommy don’t leave!,”
“I’ll be back,” I promised holding back my own tears, courageously walking away with everything in me resisting turning around and running back to comfort her.
Yet now this separation rather than a day would last maybe forever as she ventured onto wherever her future would bring.
Moving out for college, her life had just began, while part of mine had ended.
I never wanted to stop being her mom, waking up each morning making her breakfast, packing her lunch and driving her to school while dodging cars to make it on time, as my daughter Allie navigated the best lanes.
Upon experience we NEVER got behind Mexican gardening trucks, as time seemed of no concern, nor did we ever trail American made cars with happy moms that happily stopped on yellow lights when clearly they had enough time to pass through. We searched for sports cars, aggressive male drivers that cleared our way as we drafted behind their path. Once the drop off was successfully made, we high fived as she victoriously ran before the infamous bell sounded.
Picking her up was with either Justin Beaver, High School Musical, or Nora Jones in the pulled back top of Jojo, our jeep. We always named our vehicles, bicycles and even luggage. To us it was sentimental. We even named our beloved bicycles, Button and Muffin who proved their own unbreakable bond when shockingly, while driving on the freeway, Muffin flew off the bike rack, and miraculously caught a spoke on Button’s right pedal. Dangling she held onto her dear friend for over a mile begging her not to let go until we finally had a chance to pull over. Muffin survived, and we both knew Button had saved her life.
There was also Daisy and Sunflower our quads. Bucky and Bean our luggage that traveled everywhere for eighteen years until finally Bucky’s handle broke, and Bean’s zipper unraveled. Yet, they are still part of the family cherished in the garage. There was Bubbles our handmade beach car with no doors, and our snowmobiles, though dearly loved escaped being named.
Life as a mom was nothing less than fun: teaching my little Allie to rollerblade while holding onto the the handle of her baby carriage, as Itsey our little puppy sat inside, and teaching her to ski while infusing her with the belief, “You can do it!” until she went from bunny slopes to black diamond runs, were the unforgettable moments etched forever in my mind.
She conquered every challenge she faced. She jumped on quads, climbed hills on a mountain bike, beat me at racquetball, and caught a wave the first time she tried surfing
She was brave, and she lived by her favorite scripture, Mark 10:27,
With man it is impossible, but with God everything is possible.
I watched as my daughter, grew up not fearlessly as she faced new challenges, but courageously as she did it anyway.
We learned from life. We always said “yes” to new adventures. Warning her, my escape clause was always...
“I really don’t know how this is going to turn out. I do know that some of this adventure will be harder than expected, some of it will be more exciting than anticipated, but in the end it will be an adventure never to be forgotten.”
Becoming a leader
I witnessed the courage she had while transferring high schools and starting over with no friends, and the courage it took to make them.
I remember the day she came home from school with wet clothes. Questioning her she humbly replied, "At school today there was a pastor who spoke about giving your life to Christ. Finishing, he offered an invitation to anyone who wanted to come down for a water baptism. I was the first to stand. Even though I was the new kid, it didn’t matter. I wanted to go forward regardless if I made a fool of myself or not. "
"I knew what I believed in and that’s all that mattered. So I asked, “Can I go in with my clothes on?” Once he said “yes” I stood up and walked down through the front aisles.
Slowly but surely one by one 500 other kids followed.
My courageous, brave, little leader, with a heart bigger than life.
The memories of the past swept over the span of 18 years, though now it was time to say good-bye to my baby girl all grown up to face the world.
However hard it was to let go, the world deserved her, for that matter needed her.
I knew she would inspire others when they were down, and lead them into new adventures unafraid of unchartered territories. I knew she would stand up for her beliefs giving others courage to do the same. I knew she would show others how to be open and honest, and vulnerable with their hearts no matter the cost, regardless the risk.
The world indeed needed her…
this rare gift of my daughter Allie Nicole.
We hugged indefinitely, and now it was I who felt like she did in kindergarten when she pleaded “mommy don’t leave,” now it was I silently saying, Allie don’t leave.
As she turned and walked away, tears welled up blurring my last vision of her.
That was it. The last good-bye.
Yet, she stopped suddenly and turned around with such love in her eyes as if she knew what I was feeling, reassuringly whispered, ”Hey mom….mom, I’l be back…”
My heart was full, because I knew it was true. It was a glorious last good-bye.
My love always,
Your mom, first day of college
-Lisa Hamilton / The HamiltonPost