This morning's solemn farewell to Caelyn brought on many tears. When we first began homeschooling back in 1997, I used Psalm 133:1 as the basis for a lesson on the crucial nature of forming strong sibling bonds:
"How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!"
I find it significant that the Psalmist punctuated that statement with an exclamation point. He then compared that unity, in verse 3, to the effect of dew on Mt. Zion and proclaimed,
"For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore."
This is not to be taken lightly. It is an important part of God's message to His people; and we have taken it to heart with our children, reminding them that they are to dwell together in unity -- "harmony" in some translations -- and in so doing, honor the Messiah. Because our children have been each other's first and best friends since birth, it was very difficult for our four younger children to say good-bye to their oldest sister this morning.
It was a quiet ride back to my parents' house as I pondered the fact that we, as parents, experience some growing pains of our own. We recognize, as in Psalm 127, that our children are arrows, which means that they are not meant to adorn the quiver forever. We are to aim them straight, bringing them up in the "training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4), to be released into the will of the God, Who prepared in advance the good works that He has created them in Christ Jesus to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Craig Grayson was very self-controlled as he gave Caelyn one last hug good-bye. He is so tender-hearted, but he maintained his composure well.
Morgan has been pensive for the entire day, no doubt wondering how life will be for these next three months without her best friend.
As I hugged her, I had a desperate feeling, as if I've forgotten to complete some crucial task or that I've failed to prepare her in some way. I kissed her soft cheeks one last time, hoping to recall how it feels until the next opportunity.
I can only imagine how it felt for Craig to escort Caelyn into the terminal. There is a special bond between a father and his daughter, and as far as I'm concerned, words fail to convey the mystery. Many women joke that they wish that their husbands could experience the pain of childbirth. For tender fathers like Craig, I imagine that same pain comes in releasing a daughter into the will of God -- in this case, serving a family in an earlier stage of the process.