So, how does it feel? I get asked that a lot lately since my daughter’s (my last born’s) wedding. Did I cry? Did I dance for joy? How does it feel having the last one leave the nest? What’s it like having the place to ourselves? On one hand, the questions can get irritating after a while, but in another sense, I can truly understand why people ask them. First of all, they care about us and how we are doing emotionally as well as physically. But also, I suspect there is an element of curiosity, probing the person who’s ‘been there, done that’, in hopes of gleaning information for when their turn comes. I can’t begrudge people their questions. After all, I’ve asked these same questions many times myself and with the same motives.

Which brings me to the point…how does it feel anyway? I have been through such a whirlpool of emotions these past few months, since Amanda’s return from the U.S., and have been in such a whirlwind of activity that it has been difficult to sit down and sort through it all. I have been feeling the need to do just that – kind of like sitting down and sifting through all the grown kids’ baby stuff when you know there aren’t going to be any more kids.

I have shared bits of my musings from time to time on this blog from the Ithege, the first meeting of the 2 families (ours and Thuo’s), the Ruracio, the Itara, and even the soda ceremony, sharing my fears, my hopes, discoveries, a few negative feelings, and my joys. But now the wedding has taken place, our daughter and her new husband have been to their honeymoon, the flowers have wilted, tents and chairs are gone and the last of the guests have left. I’m sitting here with the dust settling around me, alone, and wondering that very same question…yes, how do I feel anyway?

On the one hand, I feel a vague sadness. Vague, because there really isn’t anything solid to be sad about. We are happy that Amanda has married the man she loves. We believe they will be happy together. We like our new son in law. Everything went really well. So, why feel sad? Well, Amanda and I have always been very close. As an adult, she has become more than a daughter. She has become a friend. I’ll miss our grocery shopping trips together where we chatted, sharing the occasional sausage for lunch. I’ll miss us cooking or baking together. The house feels empty without her constant excited chatter (though I have to admit I won’t miss her clutter!). I’ll also miss her support in our ministry endeavors. Of all our children, Amanda has always been the most supportive of what we do, often jumping in with both feet, helping with student events, organizing seminars, even serving as an intern for more than a year. Her help has been truly valuable. I’ll miss this ever-present female confidant and friend.

But on the other hand, I feel a sense of pride and joy. Both her father and I feel pride in the young woman Amanda has become…her confidence when tackling a task, her tenacity when solving a problem, her creativity in coming up with solutions or when initiating a project, and her joie de vivre. We are pleased when we observe her loyalty to friends, family and church, her sense of responsibility, and most of all, the seriousness with which she takes her walk with God. I feel a sense of joy that she is happy with her life, that she has found the man she loves more than any other, and is now eagerly starting her own family. And…why lie? I’m eagerly waiting for the eventual, hoped-for grandbabies coming along!

On the last night for the remaining wedding guests (Amanda’s best friend from Sri Lanka and her new husband) they made us dinner for us – a genuine Sri Lankan meal. What a treat! I marveled at the mixture of sweet, sour, spicy, hot, and yes, even bland flavors all mixed into the several dishes. That pretty much describes me at this point…a pot of simmering emotions, all mixed up – sadness, joy, contentment, pride, wistfulness, hope, and an eagerness for the future. That is life for me right now…a Sri Lankan meal!

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