March 10th ... That date has held special meaning in my life for the past 20 years. It's the date I started "going steady" with Jerry Willis. I was 15 and crazy about a brown eyed boy who made my heart skip. Every year, I remember the day and it's special meaning. The day God marked my future with Jerry.
This year, that day will take on another meaning. On March 10, 2010, our niece will leave for basic training. She'll leave the safety of our family and travel to a place full of strangers. Her mom will come home and the house will be quiet without Tori's laugh.
Tori loves new experiences and her future will be marked by this adventure.
Tori will be miles away from us ... instead of a 15 minute drive. She won't be at the ice cream stand this summer and she won't be in my kitchen as I make homemade pizza on the weekends.
She's spreading her wings. I've always known this day would come for each of the children in my life. I'll miss her ... the things that make her unique. I'm proud of this choice she is making. I'm proud to say Tori is going to protect the country I live in, the freedoms I enjoy.
Sure, she'll come home on leave. She'll have holidays to come home ... to come home.
That's the best part of leaving home ... you can come back.
Tori will take all the things that make her the unique person she is ... she'll take them with her to this foreign place. Everything our family has taught her, everything she has become ... she'll take that with her.
That's exactly how God is for us. He raises us, he gives us a foundation to build our lives on. He nurtures us until He knows we're ready to venture out and do His works.
I pray that's what Tori has ... a strong foundation built with family bonds. Bonds that will support her on days when she is tired, weary and maybe even second guessing her choice.
He let's us spread our wings and fly. And, at the end of the journey, when we're tired from the adventure, He's there. We can hang our coat and hat and call Him ... Home.