Day Before McKenzie Goes to College

AUGUST 15, 2011 (day before McKenzie goes to college)

Many of you have asked, “How you doing Juno, with McKenzie going to college”?

OK, so today (thinking about McKenzie going to college tomorrow) is a little more emotional than I thought.   Feelings are a mixture of missing Bonnie and sending McKenzie off to college.  For McKenzie she is between worlds….saying goodbye to friends she has know for 7 years and a ‘very safe and secure world’ and stepping into the unknown with knowing one person.  I’m so grateful she’ll be doing that at a small Christian university….no doubt reminding me of my wonderful college days with years filled with a deeper discovery of my faith, to a new level of genuine friends, friends who were in our wedding and 20 years later all of them showing up and supporting me in MI for Bonnie’s memorial service (and to think we weren’t even in a fraternity together).  Those are the hopes I carry for McKenzie as she begins Arizona Christian University.

Anyway, here are some of my thoughts from this morning (that’s what I get for running at 5:15 AM):
Well its more than obvious that most of the world doesn’t miss a beat despite my own grieving process.  This week I’m once again reminded that the grief journey is full of unexpected feelings and emotions, its a mysterious blend of sadness and gratefulness.  I’m fully and painfully aware that it has been 21 months since Bonnie’s entrance into heaven.  Some people would think that’s a long time and maybe I ‘should be over it by now’ – if that’s the case then I well behind ‘the grieving curve’.  My experience has been that this grieving process is a long and hard road to walk down.  At times its like living two worlds – the public world in which I need to function and be productive and my private world in which I enter into the mourning process once again.

At this season in the grieving process, its filled with both grief and gratitude. While Bonnie continues to be deeply missed, I also live in the reality of having been blessed with a wonderful daughter that I’m still called to care for and love and to partner with God in nurturing her into all the she can be (so yes that means going off to college [we are both glad it’s only 45 minutes from home]).  The reality of the hope and power of the resurrection is my foundation.  The blessing of the wonderful encouragement of deeply faithful friends is the new reality in which I live.   The combination of both faith and friends (and I’m grateful to say my faith community – Mountain Park Community Church) gives me energy and strength to face each day.

So while the painful and sad reminder of Bonnie’s absence is intensified on these special occasions, it is critically important for me to slow down and pay attention to that place in my heart that is also filled with sincere gratitude and gratefulness for the relationships God has blessed me with.  How God brings those two extreme emotions (brokenness and thankfulness) together remains a mystery.  Thanks for being part of the mystery in my life.

In His peace that passes all understanding,

One thought on “Day Before McKenzie Goes to College”

  1. Hey Uncle Juno,
    I think the second year of me losing my mom was the hardest. It’s like the first year, you are still in shock. I’m praying for you!!

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