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A Bittersweet Gift

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.

Maya Angelou

 

I am so proud of our oldest daughter Becca.   She will graduate next weekend with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and will be leaving for a position with the Peace Corps somewhere in Africa within the next 6 months.

This week she called me and said that we needed to talk.  When I called her back, she was very upfront with me and said, “Mom, you need to stop asking if I am ready to come home, because I already am home.”

Stung by the realization of the truth, she continued. “You and Dad did a great job of teaching us to build community- whether it was at church, or home, or now school- you gave us the skills to make any place home.  From now on, when I think of St. Ben’s, I will think of the community I created with my roommates this year, and our little apartment with lots of memories- the place I now call home.  This gives me the courage to know that when I go to Africa, I can create community there too, and it will be home.”

When I shared this story with a friend, she said, “It hurts to know you did your job.”  What more can parents hope but to have raised children that become competent, confident adults ready to make a change in the world?  It is Becca’s graduation gift to us, her very proud and grateful parents!

And while our house will always be the safe place from which Becca stepped  into the bigger world, and a place where she can come back to and find support and love, it is her job now to move out into the world and create home wherever she goes. Lucky the people who will cross paths with such an amazing woman!

I am sure my blog will have many posts in the coming months about the continual process of letting go.  Yet I know that within a few short months of her arrival in Africa, the geography, the people, the food, the culture will become a part of who Becca is.  She will find a  network of loving and supportive  people, and it will be home.

 

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