To my #2 Daughter… A New Stage of Life
As I walk around your bare room this morning, I feel an emptiness now that you’re gone. Then I passed the shoe rack and saw your shoes gone, and it hit me again. To be so proud, and so sad is an interesting combination. Will you miss us as much as I miss you?
University! You made it! You set so many goals for yourself this year, and accomplished almost all of them. I’ve noticed that you are quite focused when you have a goal, and you work very hard to accomplish it. You are willing to make sacrifices and step outside of your comfort zone. Those are great qualities to have, that you will have a chance to use over and over again in this journey called life.
With university come new adventures…new school, new friends, new home and the beginning of the next stage of your life. You are beginning astage much more independent of your parents and your family. The skills you’ve learned up until now will only continue to grow and new skills will be learned. Remember though, we are only a phone call away, and a short drive too. Never hesitate to call, even if it is only to chat. Our love for you has no boundaries – even when some of our decisions have seemed hurtful, they have only been done in love.
God is preparing you for the work force. A university education in Mechanical Engineering will be a huge asset in finding meaningful employment a few years down the road. All of the little jobs you’ve had until now, and the jobs that will take you through university will culminate in a jackpot at the end. But these little, seemingly insignificant jobs, now are preparing you for the “big one.” Getting up every morning six days a week for over 7 years to deliver newspapers shows dedication. I never had to nag you, yell at you, or threaten to give your job to one of the other kids which shows that you have an uncomplaining spirit. Babysitting for the neighbours allowed you to use your experience with your siblings. Those kids looked forward to you coming over which shows that you treated them with respect and did a great job of filling in for their mother. Working at the restaurant for only a couple of hours a day 6 days a week shows perseverence. At first this local job suited your schedule, and when it got more challenging as you got busier, you still found a way to make it work and your employers were always pleased with the work you did. These skills make you a valuable employee.
God is preparing you for marriage and parenthood. These next few years will teach you valuable lessons. You will learn homemaking skills. You will learn to budget money. You will learn to pay bills. You will learn to make appointments. You will learn to feed yourself. You will learn to clothe yourself. You will learn to shop. You will learn to clean. Hopefully I have helped you learn enough to make this transition easier. Of course, most of these things you have been doing a lot of already. We will certainly miss your chocolate brownies! Learning to care for those around you will prepare you for being a wife and a mother. Neither thing is to be taken lightly and you’ve had a lot of experience looking after your younger brothers and sisters. You’re welcome!
God is preparing you for a future with Him. Naturally an eternity with Him in heaven, begins with our daily life focused on Him now. The joy of serving Him and loving Him shouldn’t be put off until tomorrow, because a life without God and Jesus is a life without meaning. It may seem great at first, but it quickly becomes empty and devoid of purpose. We are not created to live for ourselves, but created to live for God and for others. Spending time in quiet prayer every day and reading the scriptures is the key to staying on track with God. It gives him a chance to speak to us, and it gives us a time to refocus and built our relationship. Jesus will never steer us wrong. It may not be easy all the time, but a life without Jesus is not easy all the time either. Weekly mass is also essential. I hope that you will have as a great a love for His church as I do. I hope that you will have as great a love for prayer as I do. It has truly been the highlight of my life. When things fall apart around me I know that that is not who I am. I am a child of God and my hope and joy are in Him. Watching you serve in the church over the years has been a delight to me and I encourage you to continue. Make God the most important part of your life and you will never regret it.
All of this may seem overwhelming, but it all begins with today. You don’t have to look far down the road. Look to today, to this week, to this semester, to this year. Only remember that each decision has life long implications as you take each step. God will be your guide. I will always be your mother, but I also look forward to our relationship growing in new and different ways. I will pray for you every day. I will think of you often. I will see you occasionally. And I will miss you terribly. I am so proud of the young woman you have become. A young woman who is dedicated, loving, persevering, goal oriented, great with kids, scholarly and ready to face the world. I look forward to sharing in the joy of your successes and see a future filled with reward.
I love you.