There's a trip I've just completed
with my daughter and my wife
that has driven me to ponder
major changes in my life.
It's a trip that I have taken
twice before, but I confess
how I hate the destination.
It's a parent thing, I guess.
Twas a journey to a dorm room
where I left my high school grad.
And though Wheaton College thrills me,
I am feeling kinda sad.
It was far more than the miles.
Countless memories sped by
as I found myself reliving
yesterdays that made me cry.
I can visualize my princess
with her binkie and her doll.
I can see her playing Barbies
in a corner of the hall.
I remember kindergarten
and that backpack big as she.
And that time (when on the playground)
she fell down and skinned her knee.
I can still recall her struggle
as she started middle school,
how she prayed she'd be accepted,
that the kids would think her cool.
I have memories of that summer
when her faith took root and grew
and the way she brought down Heaven
as into her flute she blew.
As we drove East from Seattle,
I thanked God for Lauren Star
and for what she'll learn in college
that will help her to go far.
All too soon the trip was over
when we reached her college dorm.
But the memories kept coming
like those Midwest August storms.
And like raindrops in the summer,
those warm tears that stain my face
are reminders of life's blessings
Father Time cannot erase.
* The above poem documents a four-day drive from Mercer Island, Washington to Wheaton, Illinois to deposit our third-born daughter at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music (where Lauren Star will major in flute performance). Having been through this "leaving ritual" twice before, I braced myself for the emotions of a life-transition that is far more than a tearful goodbye. As my wife and I go home, we have a major life transition of our own to anticipate. Like college to a freshman, there is cause for excitement, questions, anxiety and wonder. But, fear not faithful readers. The proverbial "empty nest" to which Wendy and I return will no doubt inspire yet another poem in the near future.