It’s such a happy and joyous time of year if you are a parent of a senior in High School. The culmination of years of planning and working and testing and playing and accomplishment is happening in many ways as the school year winds down. The seniors are enjoying lots of festivities and award ceremonies leading up to Graduation and ultimately moving on to the next exciting phase of their lives. Parents get to revel in successes, organize the celebrations, re-live the glory days of our own High School fun and generally take pride in our kids. For our family the anticipation started last Fall with SAT’s and the first college acceptance and it was gradually building until a friday night 3 months ago. On March 2, 2013, we had to abruptly change course with all of our plans when our daughter Anna was killed in a car accident.
We have changed courses and accepted what is before us but these days are still hard. Even as I celebrate and rejoice on behalf of all the other kids, my heart aches without my own. It’s a strange place to be because I can’t say she should be here. She shouldn’t obviously. I can’t even say I wish she were here. I would never wish her anywhere but exactly where she is. I just miss her. All these moments of celebration are moments that scream at me “you lost so much”.
And those are the moments that I am reminded of my place. The place where Hope springs eternal and Love conquers death. The place of wisdom and truth where our beautiful Mother meets me in my pain and sorrow. It is the place from which the whole of my life has purpose and meaning. I belong at the foot of the Cross, the only place where the joys of the world pale in comparison to the triumph of Eternity. To sit at the feet of Jesus is to remember that I have not lost. Truly I have gained. Anna has gained. Teach me your ways Lord. Turn my tears into dancing. At your feet, with your Mother, I will learn. This is the day You have made for me, by your cross and resurrection, so I will rejoice and be glad in it.
When I sit at His feet I am reminded of the reason for my Joy and it has little to do with Earthly celebrations and accomplishments. When I sit at His feet my purpose is renewed. Basic, elemental – I am His. Mary is quietly by my side but her example speaks volumes. I am here to do your will Lord. I am here to live out your purpose for me come what may. I am here simply to receive all that you have poured out for me; Mercy, Love and Healing.
And it is easier here to remember that there is a time for every purpose under Heaven.
There is a time for rejoicing and celebration.
There is a time to sit at His feet.