As I sit here with my heart beating just behind my eyes, occasionally spilling love down my cheeks, I can’t help but be so eternally grateful for this feeling. This beautiful, brutal feeling of saying goodbye to my Big Kids - again - and sending them off into this big ‘ole world that is college. I am grateful for this pain of saying goodbye. I am grateful for the sting of loneliness that will fill their quiet rooms. I am grateful for the ache that my arms will feel when not holding them. I am grateful for the silence that will echo through the halls. I am grateful for the empty chair at the table. I am grateful for the void that will be left in my day. I am grateful for the deep yearning I will feel to answer questions.
Why am I grateful for all of this?
Because it means that I have a love for them that is bigger than any goodbye. I have a love for them that will always be the sweet air that fills every space they were ever in. I have a love that holds my tender heart until they are back in my arms. I have a love that will play on repeat the memory of their laughter. I have a love that will always save a seat for them - at every table. I have a peace that can only come from this kind of love. I have a love that is bigger than any unanswered question.
I have a forever love for them.
The beauty of this love is that it is infinite. It will never be used up or expire or end. It will never fade or have contingencies. It will never be tainted or tarnished. It will never be scarce or hard to find.
It will only always be there, for them, forever and always.
It is the love of a mother.
Whether it is a day or a week or months or years - no matter how long it is until the next time you get to hold your kids, be grateful for the pain because it is what proves how deep your love is.
And that is what life is all about.