For 13 years there has been a Hilstad child at our local elementary school. For 13 years I have walked in and out of class rooms, interacted with teachers, driven for field trips, attended assemblies, talent shows, student led conferences and grade 7 leaving ceremonies. 3 of those for my own children. As a family we have sat around the dinner table, talked and often laughed about what has happened at school, discussing homework, class antics, and little buddies. All that changes, this past week marked the last day of Hilstad attendance at Forest Grove as Shanna completed grade 7. My baby is growing up, parts of me are ready to give her wings, the other part wants to hold on forever. I imagine this is the plight of mothers everywhere as our children grow up. Next year all 3 girls will be in the same school for the last time in there public school lives. And so begins another chapter in the story of our lives....
Bitter Sweet. . .
For 25ish years, my sisterfriend Lisa and I have had a solid on and off again relationship. We met when she came from Invermere to Burnaby to attend SFU in the early 80's - she showed up at church one Sunday and we have been dear friends ever since, it was and is a connection that God intended to be. For the past 25ish years she has come and gone, home to Inveremere, to Regina, to Quebec, Pennsylvania, Benin, with visits in between here at the coast. She currently lives and works in Niger, West Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world. We share one of those rare friendships that picks up where we left off and go on from there, sure we keep in touch in between, but those times when we are face to face are special treasures. When she is in town, our door is always open, she comes she stays, she fits right in to our crazy lives. This past week we talked on the phone for likely the last time in 4 years, she is as I type on the journey back to Niger for her next 4 year term. Each moment we can spend talking or visiting face to face is a gift that neither of us take for granted. It is hard to hang up when you know it will be at least 4 years until the next conversation. It is bitter sweet.. I know that she is living out her passion, working where she does, but she takes a small part of my heart with her this sisterfriend of mine.
Life is full of bitter sweet moments, those things that we know must happen, but bring both joy and sadness. Things that come into our lives to strengthen character, build us up, teach or challenge us to be better people. The key is to keep our eyes and hearts open so that we can be taught.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts,
and we are never, ever the same.