Three weddings and a funeral. This month, two of my cousins tied the knot, as did a friend’s daughter.
And my mother’s long-time friend (since college days) passed away after being hospitalised for months.
At his daughter’s wedding, my friend (father of the bride) gave a speech. He had prepared a short video presentation and even written a poem dedicated to the bride and groom. So the guests saw some photos of their growing up years – from babyhood to childhood to adulthood. The poem was touching. It was about a parent’s love, how parents will always be there for their kids, no matter what, even after the child is grown up and married.
It made me think of my two teens. For about a year now, my 19-year-old has been showing signs of being ready to fly the coop. After Form Five, and then when he started college last year, I saw less and less of him. Now in his first year at university, I hardly see him at all! He’s so busy with studies, sport and socialising.
My younger one, 16, can’t wait to take driving lessons next year. She dreams about going out with her friends in her own wheels – no need to rely on me or her dad for transport.
She already enjoys going out with her friends, without any adult chaperones. These outings increase during the holiday season, of course.
So while I still have her at home with me, as much as possible, I carve out time to spend with her.
We go to the movies, have a cuppa at a cosy cafe, go shopping, bake, get our hair done at the same time, and so on.
Recently, we discovered the TV series Switched At Birth, which we watch online. This family drama is quite riveting in the way it tackles some of the issues that teenagers and their families face, including middle-aged parents who are facing the “empty nest” syndrome.
I had a taste of the empty nest just last week, as both my kids were away; my daughter was at a camp while my son was on a self-drive road trip with his uni mates.
Some of my friends around my age have shared with me what it feels like when their children leave home for further studies abroad or to set up their own home once they get married. There’s a sense of sadness and loss.
So we go through seasons in our lives. Falling in love, getting married, or having a baby – when everything is new and exciting – could be likened to the springtime of our lives.
After some years, we reach a plateau in our lives, and things seem stable – our summertime. While life generally seems warm and relaxed, there are occasional “hot” or turbulent periods usually involving the people in our lives.
The heat and storms of summertime help us appreciate the cooler season which is autumn. This phase of life will also see the “falling away” of things in our lives, such as loss of health and/or our jobs; moving to a new place and leaving friends behind; or our children flying the nest.
Wintertime is to be expected, too – a time of dreariness when life “forces” us to rest. Yet, as we see in nature, this period of rest is necessary for new growth that’s coming again, in spring.
Seasons come and go, in a continuous cycle. Each season has its challenges and also its beauty. The pleasant parts, we readily embrace. But when we face difficulty, what do we do?
What I find most reassuring is that the Prince of Peace and Wonderful Counsellor is with me all the way, seeing me through the seasons in my life.
Touché is a monthly column in which Team Star2 shares its thoughts.