I've been trying so hard not to dwell on it, but this week has been extremely difficult to hold it all together. I try to think of it as no big deal - but it is... she's my best friend and she's leaving. For the rest of her life.
Now it's not a cloistered convent, like Mother Angelica's, so - for us, the family - that's a plus. So why am I so sad? This is her vocation. Her calling. Her route to Heaven. She'll get to come visit in 3-4yrs - and every 3 yrs after that [?]. And I think we can go out to see her. But in reality, I know how that won't happen for this mother of 7. It'll be phone calls and letters - which I'll cherish.
I know I'll see her again. But that's not helping me to see her off. I see her every week right now. And we are extremely close. The really sad thing I keep thinking of is my kids. She'll really miss seeing them grow up.
She'll miss Sophia's 7th birthday in November. She'll miss Christmas with us. No more receiving dollar store gifts from my kiddos :o) She'll miss seeing Charlie play ball. She'll miss seeing Dani improve in pitching. She'll miss Kayla's graduation this May. She'll miss all the sacraments of all my kids. She'll miss weddings or ordinations. But she'll miss the weekly visits most. Just being here.
She'll miss hugs and kisses. And artwork.
She'll miss the craziness of my household.
She'll miss Margarita Sundays! :o)
And I'll miss her laugh. When I need it. Her light-heartedness and goofy-ness. I'll miss watching a great movie with her. Or a bomb of a movie - which is more the case! I'll miss our talks that go well into the next day. I'll miss talking to someone about the struggles I'm dealing with at the moment or the little incidental things that happened during the week. I'll miss all the joy she brings into this home.
I'll miss sitting around with Mom, Dad, Karen and Paul just chatting, eating and drinking.
I'll miss hearing "Aunt Karennnnn" as my kids see her come through the door. A sound I can hear in my head as I type!
But that's all my human-ness. My selfishness. Which wants to yell out "Don't Go!". In my soul, I know that this is wonderful. It's her vocation. It will be her life. And she'll finally feel as though she belongs somewhere. That she's finally found her place. I know once she breaks the strong ties with all of her family it'll be a big sigh of relief to have gotten over that hurdle. I know that leaving for her is harder than her leaving for me. If that's possible.
Here is an excerpt from My Sister Saint Therese by her sister Celine [who was in the same convent w/Therese]:
That there should be interior struggles over such trifles in the religious life
might come as a surprise to many readers. I confess that at the beginning
of my Carmelite life I also experienced some astonishment at this very
thing. To me it seemed that, having made the supreme sacrifice of complete
separation from loved ones, and utter renunciation of the world, it should have
been relatively easy to bear the thousand and one minor crosses of community
life. My own petty re-actions, however, to the personal trials that came my way
shortly after my entrance disabused me of this false notion.
I love you Karen. Love you so much. I can't even fathom how much you'll be
missed. [is it possible to cry more than I am at this moment?]
He Loves You MORE!