The blog home of speaker and writer Mindy von Atzigen

The blog home of speaker and writer Mindy von Atzigen I am a lover of words, Jesus, and His church. I am also a wife, a mom, and a friend. I hope you'll consider me yours...

When A Bird Flies From The Nest

We'd been home from vacation for half a day before we drove an hour to the wedding of a dear friend's daughter.  She is twenty and she was radiant with joy.  The groom looked even younger than I remembered my 21 year old groom looking, and he was obviously enthralled by his bride.

We've known this beautiful girl since she was a wee thing, maybe five or six years old.  We'd known she was dating someone seriously, but I was still surpised when her father told us she was engaged.  There's nothing that makes you feel your age then the people who are still kids in your mind sending you a wedding invitation.

I wore my best dress and marveled at my husband looking splendid as we drove to the ceremony.  He even bought me a new evening wear handbag on our way.  A quick stop for dinner, and then we were seated in the gorgeous church sanctuary.

The music began.  The groom came out with the preacher.  The doors opened.  She entered.

And that's when it happened.  Tears sprang to my eyes, completely surprising me.  I never cry at weddings.  They're usually too exciting, too fun, and filled with too many things to see to leave room for tears in my eyes.

But this time it was different.

I swallowed and discovered it was difficult with the lump in my throat. 

And then I realized what was happening.

For the first time in my life, I was identifying more with the parents of the bride than the bride herself. 

My heart was aching for the exquisitely beautiful loss that was occurring.

Yes, our friends were gaining a wonderful son-in-law.  They were watching the creation of a new household that will bring them grandchildren and a family legacy.  They were reaping the rewards of years spent in good parenting.

But, they were most definitely experiencing a loss at the same time. 

They were watching their little girl fly right out of their nest, even while they watched her take her place in the world as the friend of their hearts they could be proud to know.

They were closing the door to a parenting chapter in their lives, even as they opened a wider door to the next season.

They were saying goodbye to the girl who had shared their name all her life, even while their lips said hello to the woman who now has a new name.

And I realize it won't be long, really, until it's my daughter who has a new name.  Until it's my son who's responsible for taking care of a wife.  Until we drive home to a nest still warm from the baby birds who have flown away to their own nests.

And that's why I cried.  Out of the ache that comes with recognizing the loss that will come.  And out of gratefulness that I get to have the years that I do with these amazing people I call my children.

And that's why I also laughed and danced at her reception with my still young looking husband.  Out of the sheer joy that comes from God's brilliant idea--family.