The Hubs and I had the pleasure of hosting my mother for a week. It was a fantastic week! I even took some time off of work to enjoy some Minnesotan activities with her.
We got to begin our Maple Syrup Season in our Sugar Shack back in the woods. We tapped 40 trees and even had the great surprise of collecting 56 gallons of sap one afternoon. Due to the recent heat wave (high 40's!) we had to trek out in our rubber boots and galoshes through the marsh to make it to the Sugar Shack. It was a blast starting up the syrup season with her here.
We got to experience another 5 inches of snow, which for an Albertan/Oregonian can be kind of exciting, especially when you fly out the next day and can leave the cold, wet snow behind. We got to go for grande-no water-5 pump-chais, have great talks (you just can't have the same kind on the phone), get our nails done.... We went to a bookstore and perused the Chicken section as we brainstormed about where and when and how to build my dream-chicken coop. Some people have a dream house, apparently I have a dream chicken coop. We even bought a little book that has everything you need to know about chickens from choosing a breed to butching them for chicken cordon bleu.... Having my mum here made a fantastic 7 days.
I feel refreshed having had one of my own flesh & blood come visit. I don't know what it is, but having your mum around is so special. At the same time, I feel the deep sadness. It seems to grow every time I say good-bye to any of my family members. I try to cherish every moment I have with them during a visit, yet I can't help but feel like I missed out on something as I give my last hug & good-bye at the airport and watch them walk away. Most of the time, I just shove those awful feelings of loneliness away and focus on what's on the schedule for tomorrow, bake something delicious or plan a date with a friend.
I did something different this time. I dwelt on the fact that I love my family so much, it makes me teary when we have to part ways. Kind of a scary road to go down, but I grabbed my journal, Jesus Calling & my brand-spanking-new unopened devotional thoughts Bible. Both books, despite being written by different authors they both spoke my heart about giving up what is most dear to you and learning to focus on what truly matters. Yes, I can still miss my family. Yes, I can still mourn when my mother leaves. Yet, I can find encouragement that it's not the end. It's odd to say this when I felt so sad, I can find happiness and joy because God is good.
Today is a new day. I'm ready for it with a joy that I know is not just my own, because I still feel sadness that my mum is back in beautiful Oregon. I have my Friday camouflage thermos of coffee and Tim Hortons mug to make it through my work day and I am really looking forward to a stay-in date night with my wonderful husband. God is good.