My Mother's Day weekend seems to have a theme. Every once in a while I will get on a kick about something and then everything seems to relate to, or if it is a sad theme, compound the issue.
Friday night my daughter was honored at school for being in the top 10% of her class. Amazing! I'm so proud of her. There was a nice dinner and then a program where the awards were presented to the students by their parents and each family had their picture taken. The seventh grade started and I listened to announcements of the parents names and watched the proud smiles for the camera. Eight grade came then ninth. Parents and student, parents and student. Time for tenth grade to line up. More proud parents and student. Then my daughter was called and I was announced as her parent. Out of nearly 50 students, I think there was only one other student who had Dad, Stepmom and Mom. I was the only single parent.
It was a bittersweet evening. On one hand, my heart was bursting with pride at seeing my daughter excel and thrive in school. She is becoming the most amazing, beautiful young lady who really has a heart for God. Nothing gets better than that!
On the other, I couldn't help but think about loss. Does she ever feel it too? She has never known what it is like to have a father close by and consistently be here. Because he lives several states away, she sees him about two weeks a year.
As a small child, she would try to figure out who her dad was and whether any friends of mine might become her dad. It was all too confusing for her and heartbreaking for me. Consistency and stability were more important so I decided men were going to have to go. A dozen years later and edging closer to sending her out into the world, I pause. There are moments when the ach of that decision can pierce a tired heart.
Last night I watched Becoming Jane. A lovely movie based on the real life of the famous author Jane Austin. Jane was poor, without class distinction and without connection in a society where money and connection were everything. She also had the unfortunate lot of being a woman of skill in a society when skill was reserved for men and scorned in women. Her story leaves me haunted, mournful. Jane made a choice.
Financial salvation of her family was the burden forced upon Jane through the marraige proposal of a rich, but unloved suiter. Jane and a man of questionable character, who was controlled by the need to inherit his uncle's estate and an allowance to support his family fell in love. Denied permission by all, they chose to elope. Scandalous and a sure ruin of all future hopes through connection.
Not long into their journey, Jane comes to a moment of truth. Their denial of duty to family and neglecting the reality of social expectations would eventually overcome even their intense love and bring death without hope. Jane chose for both of them. She forsook the rightness of love given and chose the rightness of faithful duty. It was still a choice of love.
She never married. The man she loved did and went on to become the highest ranking judge in Ireland. He named his first daughter Jane.
Jane Austin wrote six novels that changed literature and story craft forever. Her choice became an exquisite legacy.
My choice is a choice of love. I am watching the legacy of that choice develop before me. If I get nothing else in my life than to be a part of bringing a beautiful woman of God to full maturity, I will still know I made the right choice.
Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. Psalm 25:12