The Summer of Lasts…

SMSSummerofLastsAug2015This is our summer of lasts – Troy will be leaving for college in just a few weeks. The summer of lasts. Every once in a while it hits me, what that really means: the summer of lasts.

It probably sounds dramatic. I know my kids have rolled their eyes more times than I can count as I’ve lamented this is the last time we…<insert something wonderful here> And as the summer draws to a close and Troy gets closer to leaving, I realize there is no such thing as the mundane. Every moment seems to be something wonderful, treasurable, priceless, a moment not to be missed. I can’t imagine what my boys would say or how their eyes would roll if they only knew how often I secretly think of this as our summer of lasts.

the last time I’d rush five kids out of the house on a scattered workday…

the last time we’d drive to the corner together and then rush to get them out all at once…

the last time I’d watch my four older guys walk to school together…

the last time I’d remind my oldest to hand in that assignment…

the last time we’d all play a vicious game of Uno together…

the last time we’d go camping together…

the last time I’d cook my son dinner before he left…

the last time I’d help him look for that missing paper…

the last time I’d buy this big a bunch of bananas

(Really, I did get just a bit weepy in the grocery store thinking that one day!)…

the last time I’d have to shove over the mess blocking his door to get in his room…

the last time I’d kiss him good night before going to bed…

the last time I’d remind him to pray as I shut the door to his room…

the last time all of my children will be together under one roof as a family…

the last time…

From the mundane to the ridiculous, at weird, random moments the knowledge that this was our summer of lasts would hit me. I’d get just a bit teary, hiding back emotion, layers and layers of emotion, emotion I didn’t dare let my friends know about, my family laugh at me over, my kids see and roll their eyes for.

Oh, they all thought they knew. I said the right words, made the right comments, pretended to miss him when people asked, but that was all a surface missing. I couldn’t let too many in to see how I really felt when those little moments really hit me, and I was caught off guard by that cruel and unfair joke that creeps up and then pounces on all moms at some point or another,

“This is our summer of lasts.”

And then I began to realize that our summer of lasts was almost over before I was ready for it to have begun, and we hadn’t treasured every moment as I’d hoped. And then I realized that the summer of lasts had begun and had even passed in many ways, and I wasn’t able to stop it, to slow it, or to turn it back and ask to do it again. And then I realized that our summer of lasts wasn’t going to be filled with all that I’d hoped to do, that already my boy had grown separate from me and had plans of his own that didn’t go along with mine. I understood, but it didn’t keep the sadness at bay.

As a single mom, letting go this summer, knowing my son will soon walk away, knowing this is the end to the family I had loved and cared for and protected and done everything for, knowing I was one of the fortunate moms and that this walking away was is a good thing, leaves me with a feeling that is beyond all words.

This is our summer of lasts.

Please join me next week as I continue trying to find words to let go…

God Bless…

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PS If you’re a Single Mom Smiling subscriber, you probably received the rough draft of this in an email yesterday. It’s a post that’s been in my head for months yet I still struggle with trying to put all that is in my heart into my words. Thanks for your patience when I hit PUBLISH instead of SAVE for my rough draft. 🙂 

6 Comments

  1. Caitlynne Grace on September 27, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    My heart caught at the words – Summer of Lasts. 3 little words that sum up the poignancy and grief of every love-parting, the ache of every mother-heart. It is also Heaven’s nod that one journey must now end in order for the next to begin. Rain mists for now, Strahlen, but the sun will soon stream in. All my love to you and your beautiful boys.



    • Strahlen on October 2, 2015 at 5:47 am

      Thank you Caitlynne. You’re so right, and I love the expression, “Heaven’s nod that one journey must now end in order for the next to begin.” I think you may have inspired an entire post with that. Even my husband’s abandonment was really just a step in a journey. I am so much more than I was with him. Divorce is never a Good thing even when it is absolutely necessary in the case of abuse, but God brings Good from it. He lets it be the next step in your journey as you so eloquently put it.

      I am so proud of my son and he needed to go, but my mother’s heart also misses him and wishes I could take back time we lost. I will always mourn a bit for that, but I am Joy -filled beyond measure for this child and pray he continues on his path toward becoming the Man God created him to be.

      Thank you so much for your kind and reassuring words.

      God Bless…



  2. A Family Forever Changed - Single Mom Smiling on September 4, 2015 at 8:14 am

    […] But at the same time, I felt a bit frantic and a touch of sorrow this summer, our summer of lasts. […]



  3. […] The Summer of Lasts […]



  4. Roxane B. Salonen on August 14, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Strahlen, it is very hard to let go. I really feel that in the letting go, God is preparing to add something wonderful to fill the void. That’s what He’s really good at. I look forward to seeing what He has in mind. But it’s okay to grieve. It IS like a death in many ways, and yet, your boy is still here, and there is so much for his to discover, and that is a good thing, too. I know you know this and are trying to be brave, as we all are. Sometimes we get really good at faking what is really going on. I have said before that I feel at times I could cry a river of tears over the things my mama heart has felt. You are NOT alone. XXOO



    • Strahlen on August 15, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Oh Roxane, I thought of you as I wrote this post and of the new perspective you’ve given me and how grateful I am to say good bye to him in this way.

      You are so right about God filling the void and also about how good we get at faking what is really going on – even faking to ourselves. I would not have planned my life this way (have I said that once or twice or 500 times before???), but God has filled the void with a trust in Him and a patience (some of the time anyway lol) that I hadn’t experienced before.

      You are in my prayers. I am so glad you found me! XoXo



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