It is with mixed emotions that I bid you goodbye. You’ve been confusing, and wonderful, and revealing, and reviving, and disappointing, and hopeful. And hard.
I embarked on a college adventure to fulfill a lifelong dream of teaching. I will always love you for that. That first semester was a doozie, but I got through it and I’m excited about the journey ahead.
Within your walls, deep friendship died. Only within my family will I ever feel comfortable truly trusting again.
I learned many things this year. Some of those lessons were joyful, and others were some of the most painful I’ve ever experienced. But all were beneficial, each in its own way, and I’d like to stay focused on that.
You brought me my beautiful little grandson Strider Allen, his little face a mirror image of our Mattie and still so like his beautiful mama Jenna. I will forever be grateful for his entry into our world.
Transition is rarely easy, and moving into being a mother of all adults has been hard. I’m still learning the ropes, and while I’m not always the greatest at it, I keep trying. There are parts of it that I love, but I admit some parts I really hate. In some moments I want to plead with God to turn back the clock to when my babies were still babies. In so many ways, life was a lot simpler then. I miss those years gone by.
Overall, as tough as you’ve been on me, I have to be grateful for the growth. Without hardship there is little impetus to stretch upward and break through the constraints of our comfortable places, to force us into new–and sometimes frightening–adventures.
So I raise my hot cocoa mug and pop a Christmas chocolate in your honor as I bid farewell to the old and welcome the new. Here’s to further lessons, but Lord willing, less difficulty and more smiles.
Welcome, brand new year.