Letting go

During the past months, I have been struggling with a sense of sadness and impending loss, not wanting life to change, not wanting to let go. Why? Two weeks ago my youngest child was married. This was my second experience being the mother-of-the-bride. When my oldest child, Ruthmarie, was married, there were some cliffhanger moments, such as the caterer cancelling a week before the wedding, but the emotional impact was minimal. Ruthmarie had been living on her own for eight years and I was excited to have my first son-in-law. We wondered which of our four younger children would be next. The marriage bug flitted by the middle three and settled on Susanna, the baby of the family. We were very pleased with the young man she chose but I was unprepared to let her go.I couldn’t imagine not having her in the bedroom right next to ours, not having her rummage through my dresser for socks or coming home and filling our house with her sunny presence. At twenty she seemed too young, or so I told myself. I also struggled with issues of identity. If I wasn’t a mother in an active state of parenting, who was I? So much of my life had been poured into my children, making sure they were safe, educated, loved and provided for. Letting go of Susanna felt like letting go of a big part of myself. After months of planning, the wedding day arrived. Susanna was a radiant bride marrying a young man who will always protect and love her. I kept my emotions in check until Susanna danced with her father, to a sentimental tune. Then people started handing me tissues.

The house is very quiet now. My middle daughter and her friend, who live with us, are away on a road trip and my husband is busy with work. There are some tears but that’s okay, and the solitude is not all bad. God reminds me that my roles are not confined to being a wife and mother, that I am his, and as I keep on with the responsibilities he has given me, he will guide me into my future. I also realize that I am very blessed. Susanna and Chris are settling into married life beautifully and making sure to stay connected with their families. My husband and I have five thoughtful children, caring sons-in-law, a lovely young lady who is like a fifth daughter to us, siblings and other family members, good friends, a faith-filled church, and a lovely home in a beautiful city. God is our strength and Saviour and his plans for us are good. And some day in the future, we hope our house will be ringing with the laughter of grandchildren!

Photograph by Karen “Ren” Strong

10 thoughts on “Letting go

    • Thank you so much, Rose. I have a bad habit of not checking my comments often enough. There were definitely tears between the lines. I still miss Susanna not living at home but am adjusting. Thank you again!

  1. Thank you so much, Rose. You are right; there were tears between the lines. We are still grieving Sarah’s death, which probably makes other changes more intense, but God is good. Brenda and Mark had a great time visiting us in Nova Scotia for the wedding.

  2. Dear Ruth Ann:
    I’ve been thinking of you from time to time during the month, wasn’t quite sure when the wedding would take place. It’s natural for you to feel a loss but you are looking at it in a positive way — being thankful for your many blessings. Although in a sense it’s a loss, it’s also a new way of “doing life”. God has blessed you with a beautiful family and a very positive outlook on life with Him by your side.

    Love & Prayers,

  3. You are right, Bev. It is doing life in a different way. Thank you. I am trying to purposely look at all the blessings I have. God is good and the more we look at the blessings, the easier things become. One of the blessings is my new son-in-law! I am looking forward to our group starting up again the fall. Bless you, Bev!

  4. Thank you so much Ruth Ann for sharing such a beautiful day with my daughter Dee and me. It was our great privilege to lend a hand on this auspicious occasion. Please give my very best wishes to the happy couple.

    • All our thanks to you and Dee, Ren! The pictures are fantastic and I have had a lot of comments about the ones at the house, where I am adjusting Susanna’s veil. I appreciate your persevering with all the bedlam taking place with us all getting ready! It was a picture I really wanted to have. Thank you again. You and Dee are very talented and should keep on with photography. You have a real feel for it and the pictures are excellent!

    • I am late in looking at my comments. Thanks so much, Ren. My Letting Go blog post received more hits than any of the others. Thanks to you and Dee for all you did for us and the wonderful pictures you took. I made up a little album for Susie and Chris and gave it to them at Christmas. God bless!

  5. Love this photo, Ruth Ann. Yes, letting go is hard, even when it’s for a good reason. I’m praying for God’s comfort as you move into a new phase of life, confident in His good plans for you and for the newlyweds.

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