Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Mourning -- Missing My Girl

Well, it's official.  Bethany's been away from home longer than she's ever been away before.  It's been nine days since we've seen her.  She started classes at the U of A today, and she's already called me and told me all about them.  So far, it seems that her biggest dilemma is going to be deciphering her music lit professor's Serbian accent.  She said she couldn't understand a word he said and his slides were blurry so she couldn't read them.  (We did have her eyes checked this summer, and the doc said she has 20/20 vision.  Hmmmmm.....)  The bright spot of her day was finding out that the guy sitting right behind her used to be a classmate of hers in elementary school in El Dorado.  On a campus with more than 24,000 students, that's pretty amazing.

I bet that, based on the title of this post, you thought I was going to write about missing Bethany.  Would you think me a bad mother ... if I said that I don't really miss her?  I mean, I miss her, but I don't miss her, if that makes any sense at all.  And no one is more surprised about that than me.  For all my big talk about how this separation was going to be so different from our separation with Hannah, I really thought I'd still miss Bethany an awful lot.

But I've heard from Bethany several times a day every day since she's been gone.  She's texted me lots of pictures of herself doing fun things with "Other Brad" and we've talked on the phone nearly every day.  She's been having the time of her life.  And, you know what?  I've had a really good time, too.  Brad and I have been hiking twice with our friends, the Browns.  We've gone out to eat with other friends.  We've had some quiet evenings at home just watching TV.  I'm not spending time cleaning house, because it's staying clean!  I'm not doing laundry all the time, because two people just don't make that many dirty clothes.  Honestly, it's been kind of nice!

So what's with the title of this post?  Well, for some reason, Bethany's transition to college has made me miss Hannah more.  I can't quite figure out why, but a lot of the old sadness has surfaced recently.  I think it's a number of things ... I'm sad that Hannah never got to experience what Bethany is experiencing now.  I'm sad that Hannah can't text me pictures of what she's seeing and doing in Heaven.  I'm sad that I never get to hear her voice or her laugh over the phone.  I'm sad that she's not going to be coming home next weekend after the football game.  I'm sad that Hannah never got to see what life was like after the age of seventeen.  I'm sad that the last year of her life was spent in the grip of cancer.  I'm sad that she never got to experience a love like Brad and Bethany's.  And I'm sad for me ... I just miss her.

You know, one of the nice things about Bethany being gone is the excited anticipation I feel about seeing her again.  And that will be in exactly five days (not that I'm counting :) ), when she comes home after Saturday's Razorback game.  Then she'll head back to school, and I can eagerly look forward to seeing her again on September 14th, when we'll be coming to Fayetteville for a ball game.  Our separation will make seeing her again just that much more sweet.

And really, that's how it will be with Hannah, too.  It's different in that I can't count a specific number of days until I see her again ... I have no idea how long it may be.  Could be tomorrow, could be forty years from now.  But I do know this ... the long separation we've had is sure going to make for a sweet, sweet reunion.  And that reunion will last forever ... we'll never be separated again.  What a beautiful thought!


A few pics from Bethany's first week at college ... Going to church with her sweet fiance' ...


Going to a drive-through zoo ...


Settling into her dorm room ...


Getting crafty ...


And getting a quick visit from her dad when he came to northwest Arkansas for a funeral ...


So thankful that she has the opportunity to experience all of this.  We are truly blessed.

2 comments:

Kelle said...

Great Post! :) Our daughter did not leave for college, she attended UALR..(She lived at home until she married in May 2013..which I might add.. she graduates in December.. She'll be a TEACHER:)I must say since her marriage in May, we do not see her every day.. She is very close to home, but very busy with being married and School.. I do talk to her pretty much every day.. When I start feeling sad I think about you and my friend Karen.. Who also has a son in Heaven.... And then I begin to be "thankful" for every day she is here with us.. I can not even imagine how you and Karen(she has a daughter that is a senior this year) feel each and every day.. But, like you have mentioned several times.. You both will see them again someday.. And what a celebration that will be! :)

Jill Sullivan said...

Yes, Kelle, it will be a wonderful celebration! Your daughter is so beautiful and I've enjoyed looking at her wedding pictures & video. Makes me excited about Bethany's wedding at Family Farm which will be coming up in May! :)