Lessons from a U-Haul

Some days in our lives stand out more than others. For obvious reasons, some days are unforgettable, even if we could forget them, we cannot. Tragedies and celebrations seem to be the type of events that are unforgettable. I remember one particular day pretty well and it wasn’t a tragedy or a celebration. This was the day that my oldest daughter had returned from her honeymoon. She and her husband (of one week) were all loaded up and driving away to their new home and life together far away. The day began at 5:15 a.m. It was a Tuesday and my wife and I were standing on the sidewalk in front of our house, waving goodbye to the newlyweds who are driving away in a u-haul truck to begin their adult married life.

What a whirlwind! It began the previous October when my daughter announced to my wife and I she was engaged. This wasn’t a shock to us in that it was apparent these two were very fond of each other, very compatible, and seemed to be headed for marriage. Almost immediately wedding planning began. I called my friend, Craig, and asked if we could have the reception at the country club he manages. The girls began looking at dresses and churches. Money was beginning to leave the bank. Soon, money that had not even been earned began to leave the bank. Later, money began to fly rapidly from the bank. What fun it was! Our family had a blast planning, preparing, and putting on a wedding. Yet, I forgot all of that as she drove off that morning before sunrise heading for Virginia (which is not in Texas).

Thoughts and emotions began to well up in my mind and heart. I felt so proud of her. Proud that she selected a mate so carefully and thoughtfully. Proud that he was and is a brave man with integrity. Proud that he was paying for the u-haul, shampoo, half a truck full of lipstick and shoes, the insurance on the car that was attached to the rear of the u-haul (I could go on) and I wasn’t. I also felt so very sad. Sad that she was moving to another country called Virginia. Sad that she had done what others had warned us she would do, that she grew up so fast. Sad that I mistakenly thought I would have more time with her in childhood.

Since that morning, I have been different. I doubt that anyone has noticed, but I hug my wife just a little tighter and longer. I also quit believing that the other two daughters will not grow up too fast because now I know for certain they will. Actually, they already have. We have had similar days of watching the other two daughters drive away with the burden of responsibility having shifted from our shoulders to theirs. Each of those days were similar but also unique. Same kind of pride, same kind of sadness.

I am also reminded that in marriage, brides and grooms reap what their parents have sown. Some of my sowing I wouldn’t change, some of my sowing I regret. My daughter will reap in some form or fashion the way I sowed as a father. I encourage you to examine what you are instilling in your children. What will their spouse some day thank you for? What will your children have to heal from and change when they become parents? I am thankful for God’s grace and His promise that His love covers a multitude of sins. I am thankful for my daughter’s new partner in marriage and most thankful for my partner in marriage.

As they drive away, Julie and I wave goodbye to the newlyweds. At this point she begins to cry softly, I began to crave a breakfast taco, and we go back to bed and wait for the sun to come up and start the next chapter of our lives.

Have a great day. I welcome your comments. God bless, Matt.

#faith #parenting #marriage

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