“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you.” (Frederick Beuchner)
Jared moved to Pittsburgh five days ago. Since graduating last December, he’s been living in our basement apartment, working with his business partner to launch a web-based company, while doing odd jobs and serving at a restaurant. As a nervous “millennial” mom, I asked him every so often if he was okay and was he going to be living in our basement when he was 30. I don’t want to be that parent, the one everyone talks about, that does not “launch” her adult children properly (if there even is such a thing, but I can assure you, there are tons of articles about this very thing that make me a little crazy).
About a month ago, I got the phone call. “Hey Mom, what do you think if I move to Pittsburgh with Joe?” (see business partner above) Shortened version of my response: “Sounds great, Jared. You could live in Dad’s apartment while you get one of your own (for those of you who don’t know, Allen commutes there three days a week and has a one-bedroom apartment). You could work for Uncle Charley while finding a job (Charley has a large landscaping company). I think you will love it.” Inside my head, I was doing a little cheer, because it would be the beginning of the launch sequence. I could even hear the countdown in my head. After all, Pittsburgh is the perfect place. Allen grew up there. His parents are there. His brother is there. His other brother just bought a farm and moved there with his wife and seven children. Even his sister is moving to Pittsburgh one week a month. And most importantly, Jared is a huge Steelers and Penguins fan and his favorite part would be that there would be no more game black-outs. All the ducks would line up in a perfect row. YAY! But of course, part of me believed it wouldn’t come true (negative thoughts rearing their head).
As the month marched on, I was proven more and more wrong. All the pieces kept falling into place. Joe got a good job and Charley said yes to Jared. Everyone in Allen’s family did a jump for joy when they heard the news. Jared in Pittsburgh. What a treat! Even Charley, when he heard the news, said to him, “You finally came to your senses.” So, on January 2, 2018, Jared packed up his car and moved to “Da ‘Burgh” as it’s known to the locals. He started work for Charley just two days later on January 4. All seemed super happy and positive.
Here’s where it gets a little sticky! I thought I would be elated. Doing my own jump for joy. Proud of myself for getting another one out of the house, “launched” as I frequently say to friends (we even use the rocket ship emoji every time this happens to someone). No more extra food-making. No more dishes from the basement to wash. No more feelings of being tied down. Although those things did happen, other emotions flew in unannounced. Sadness. Worry. Sentimentality. No more “do you want a smoothie” texts with a reply “Would love one. Thanks Mom.” No more “where are you?” texts from him as he pulls in the driveway and my car is gone, causing me to feel needed and loved. No more hugs as he comes up the stairs to get his laundry. On New Years, the night before he was to leave, tears flowed unprovoked. We shared the following texts.
Life is filled with this. We experience “BOTH AND” as I like to say. On many occasions and even at the same time. BOTH happy AND sad emotions. BOTH difficult AND easy situations. BOTH scared AND brave thoughts. BOTH excited AND anxious feelings. BOTH joyful AND sorrowful events. This is one of the times. I thought (once again, because I am slow learner) that I would only have all the good emotions since this is exactly what I want for Jared (and myself). But that is not to be. My heart is filled with a myriad of emotions and a cornucopia of thoughts. And I am okay with all (okay most) of them (finally).
I lived a lot of my life trying to live in and for ONLY the positive and the good. I shunned the negative and the bad. It created much anxiety in anticipation of the “shoe-dropping” moments I dreaded might come true. I have slowly come to realize that life is filled with it all. And each part, either negative or positive, can be embraced, lived with and through and then incorporated into who I am and becoming. It’s a much more whole and integrated place to live and be. And believe it or not, my anxiety and fear about the dreaded “what bad thing is around the corner” has dissipated. Bad things will happen. Good things will happen. I will be happy and sad. There will be joy and grief. It all may happen even in the course of the same event or moment. BOTH AND. A much more freeing place to live from. I keep plugging away toward this place as my life marches on, repeating this mantra, “BOTH AND.”
All that being said, I am BOTH sad AND happy that Jared has moved out of our little basement apartment into a whole new experience in Pittsburgh. And Jared, I write this again (even though it’s on a graduation plaque in your bedroom downstairs) to remind you of my heart for you and my dreams for you.
May the Lord bless you, Jared, and grant you His favor FOR:
- a life filled with knowing and receiving God’s amazing and unconditional love.
- a wife, children and grandchildren who will love and respect you with passion and fierceness and that you can grow with as you journey through life.
- success in the work of your hands.
- you to find your passion and that your work would bring fulfillment for you.
- blessing financially so that your generous heart would be able to give freely.
- a long and health-filled life, unhindered by disease and suffering
- deep and abiding friendships that will build you up and support you on your life’s journey
- you to have the peace of God that will guard your heart and your mind.
- you to have the confidence to be yourself and hold onto who you are in an ever-changing world.
- purity and integrity in your mind, body and heart.
- a kind and gentle spirit who will continue to seek out those who need help and offer them yourself.
- you to entrust yourself to the God who is trustworthy.
- you to hold fast to God and be unwavering in your loyalty to Him, as He is to you.
I love you Jared! You are one of the best gifts I have ever known and I will miss you.
P.S. I loved your snapchat pic when you were pulling out of the driveway.
By the way, Jared’s web-based company is on the move. For all of you who are of have up-and-coming college students, you will want to check it out!! Look for a launch date coming soon!!