Friday, November 7, 2014

Turning the Page

For last year's words
belong to last year's language,
and next year's words
await another voice.
And to make an end
is to make a beginning.

T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding

The date had been circled
on my calendar for two
months, but truthfully, I'd
been anticipating its arrival
since he was a little boy.

My son, who turned 16 the day
before Halloween and passed
his driver's exam that same
morning, drove away with
a big piece of my heart in the
seat next to him.

I waved until he was out
of sight.

It was one of those surreal
moments in life, when the
event you'd thought about
for years and years was
actually happening.  

It was here.

And with its arrival, a new
page was turned; a new
chapter thrown open before
my eyes.

I'm certain you've had
similar occasions, too.
Moments where time seems
frozen for a split-second,
the reality of its significance
leaving you breathless.

I'm graduating from high school.

I'm standing in front of family
and friends, getting married.

I'm nervously signing all the
mortgage paperwork, 
and buying a home.

I'm in the hospital, anxious
and scared and elated to
meet my baby.

I'm waiting, hands shaking,
to speak at my grandpa's funeral.

Saying to myself, over my 
pounding heart,

this is actually happening.

Page turners, all.

The knowledge that life
as we've known it will never
be exactly the same as it was
before, can be frightening.

But happy or sad, these page
turners are all connected
to one thing:


When it's a joyous page turner
those blessings lift us up,
oh so high.

But even if the new page is
a sad one, that sadness is
also rooted in love.  Love
for a person we were blessed
to have known or a time in 
our lives we had cherished.

So, as my husband and I stood
together in that parking lot on
our son's birthday, congratulating 
him and offering a few more
pieces of advice before he drove
off to school, love was my focus.

I concentrated on the blessing it's
been to raise him.  And I fixed my
eyes on the ebullient expression 
on his face as he hugged us good-bye, 
assuring us that he would be okay.

His chapters are only beginning
to be written, and we are so very
proud and happy for him.

But still, just a bit sad for us,
and the turning of another page.

Just a bit.


all photos P&H


Kathleen T. Jaeger said...

Well written, capturing the thoughts of the season that I am in. My first has his permit and see that we are close to the end of this part of the story. and like all good stories i want to see how they end...excited..but always a little sad that the book had to end. they always do.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

This is so lovely, true. Getting a driver license is a major step on the road to living an independent life. It is a little bittersweet, but a great accomplishment! For me, it was always a bit of relief and satisfaction, too...we had brought them where they needed to be.

Lucy martin said...

Oh Suzanne,I think I need a tissue:)
Your words are very poignant and resonate deep into my heart. I think knowing others are feeling the same makes these pages just a little easier to turn.
Love and blessings to you and your son.
(side our young drivers are required to have a chauffeur until they take a test and are able to drive alone after eight months. My son is 16 and will be trying out for his full license in the spring.)


These days I would be so scared to be a Mom and let them out of my site:) I remember so well when I got my license the freedom that came along with it!!!! So exciting for him!

The enchanted home said...

Oh Suzanne you pulled at my heartstrings here.....having just become an empty nester I am still grappling with all the emotions that go along with it and wondering why i don't feel the elation that many do when that time comes!
Your son is adorable and I can see the pride in his expression......I remember each of my three sons driving for the first time (S C A R Y) for me at least:)
But I think even beyond the driving it is what it signifies, their growing up, the closing of a chapter that we were in full control of, I totally get it!
Much luck to your son AND YOU!

Anonymous said...

The turning of important pages resonates deeply with me. New chapters are starting--which means old chapters are ending. Sometimes very bittersweet (and sometimes simply a relief!) But we strive to enjoy the journey, right? :)

Every. Day.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Suzanne! Your words always touch my heart! I'm so grateful for your reminder to focus on the blessings of each of life's 'page turners.' Your thoughtful words always remain in my heart for the longest time! November blessings!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

We are just a few years behind you on this milestone! You have knitted words so well to describe the day that sits in every parents' and child's future. xo

Farmgirl Paints said...

Page turning indeed. My heart stops at the thought of this. Your baby driving!!!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I've turned so many of the pages that you mentioned. I know for certain, the feelings you both had as you watched him drive away. Many a prayers had been prayed since then. I was hanging on your every word and agreeing with you on them. It took me back, and had me looking ahead, to facing them all over as our grandchildren are growing up. Thanks for sharing your heart today.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


I am certain that I make not of this each and every time I visit here, but you always touch my heart with your poignant observations and your heartfelt words.

Although I do not have children of my own I worry about the milestone in my nieces and nephews lives while at the same time cheering from the sidelines for each accomplishment and on my knees praying for their safety and future.

Thank you for always being so "real"and sharing lives milestone big and small.

Stay warm and be safe this week, Elizabeth

lisaroyhandbags said...

I can only imagine what you were feeling - but that smile is so worth it - such a big part of growing up and that first taste of freedom driving brings. xo

pve design said...

Our twins graduate this coming spring from college and somehow the memories of all the other milestones seem so connected like steps or stairs going up on a fantastic journey.
We were moving some boxes the other day and my husband asked what was inside, I told him, books for our grandchildren. He was surprised that I think about that day. I know we still have time, but I cannot turn another page.
Enjoy each chapter and may all the new beginnings be full of JOY!

Susan Shull said...

You nailed it. Life is just one series of page-turners after another, isn't it? The end of the book is a good one though! Pressing forward......