“Come to the edge,” he said.
They said, “We are afraid.”
“Come to the edge,” he said.
They came. He pushed them, and they flew.
– Guillaume Apollinaire
My youngest daughter, Lara, is leaving for Togo, West Africa, in 1 more day. Lara did not seem to need much push——she has been dreaming of this for a long time! I am more afraid than she is! I am her mother and she is going off into the world. She made it out of the yard… through elementary school, high school, and graduated from Marquette University, a week ago. Now the world is there…waiting for her gifts and talents. I pray that she will be well received by those she meets and that she, in turn, will continue with her open and receptive attitude to what others offer.
She has a sense of humor and I think that will carry her far. She loved singing, Hakuna Matata from the Lion King:
Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata! Ain’t no passing craze
It means no worries …For the rest of your day
It’s our problem-free philosophy…Hakuna Matata!
It is always important to be able to laugh at ourselves and accept our humanity and the humanity of others…to remain flexible in what we set out to be and do.
Each time, she went a bit further away from home…each experience stretched her from her roots. I pray that the people in the universe treat her kindly. Sometimes the world is not so kind and gentle, and when she meets those times, I hope she remembers that she is always loved, and that those who love her are only a thought away. I hope she meets many loving hearts along her journey and that each experience brings her greater joy and belief in the human spirit and how much we all need one another to create a beautiful world on Mother Earth.
To say, I will miss her, in an understatement! I know her Dad and sisters, Annie and Sara, will miss her greatly! Her Aunt Kathy will miss spoiling her and their lively conversations and Uncle Ron will miss his scintillating political questions and thoughts on the universe that he shared with her. So she will be getting tons of mail! But I know she must go and follow her dream. For isn’t this what we prepare our children for as mothers and fathers? We help to grow them as persons, providing food and shelter, educating them to be all that they can be, and most importantly, bathing them in love and the importance of our connection to one another.
I left Wisconsin September 14, 1974…four months after I graduated from Marquette. I was amazed that Lara chose to go to the same university and pleased at the same time! I ended up in Kenya, East Africa in August of 1975 for two and a half years, teaching in a rural Harambee school. Now Lara is going off to Togo, West Africa to work as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two and a half years. So amazing! Just simply amazing! How blessed we are…to be so honored to experience people of another culture! How enriching our lives are because of our experiences!
My Mom cried so much that day at the airport. I thought she thought I was dying! I had never witnessed such tears! I was young and full of adventure and out to find myself in this huge world! Now that I am 63 and I find myself in the same position as my Mom–Mom was 59 when I left…NOW I finally understand her tears! and I am feeling the separation. But I know it is right that she has to take off for the world and live her dream~! I know it…but I am allowed my tears…yes?
I believe there is a God—a God of Love–and in that God we are called to love ourselves well, to BE that love for one another and accept that love from the other. I know that Lara has a strong connection to the God of Love. I am entrusting her care to LOVE.
When Lara was in 1st grade, she wrote: “Snowmen may melt, but never your heart!” And I know there are not many snowmen in Togo, West Africa…but there are many loving hearts waiting for her lovely heart…and we all will be with her on her journey, sending her love each day!