My precious son,
There comes a time in life when it is time to leave home. You are about to board a plane headed for the great unknown beyond the boundaries of your family. As I recall the day you were born, I remember the thirty-four hour labor process that your mother endured to bring you into this world. My eyes were fixated on the heart monitor that would drop each time your mother had her contractions. I gripped her hand tightly and prayed that you would not be harmed during the difficult birthing process...back-to-back labor is slow and painful.
The moment that you finally decided to come out of the womb, you peered out with both eyes already wide open. That moment is beyond description. It was as if you were already scanning your new world with your giant eyes even before you were fully separated from your mother's body. As I cut your umbilical chord, joy filled my entire body.
In a way, the chord is being cut once again as you head for Alaska, your heart filled with new hopes and dreams. Your mother and I are experiencing a full range of emotions. It seems like just yesterday when you entered the world.
As I reflect on your life and the lives of all children throughout the world, I cannot help but think about how much the Creator loves all of us. As much as I love you and your siblings, I am not capable of loving you perfectly, the way God does. I am so thankful for the years of temporary custody that were given to me to raise you and teach you. Being your dad has enriched my life beyond measure.
Next year, we will see your sister leave home and in four short years, your mother and I will once again cut the chord for your younger brother and the nest will be empty. There is still much work to be done during this time and I plan to live each day to it's fullest. Now it is your turn to climb mountains, swim oceans and explore the world that is out there waiting for you. It is time to discover all that it has to offer. Go for it! You were born to soar with the eagles...spread your wings and fly.
For those of you who are experiencing the separation of a loved one, I pray that you are comforted. The most difficult part of our journey is being set apart from our Creator. One day all of us will come together in a great reunion with our Heavenly Father. Until that day comes, we need to learn to deal with the pain of separation when our children leave the nest or when our parents or other loved ones leave this world. This is only temporary. Our real home is not in this world.