Here is where the road divides, here is where we realize
The sculpting of the Father’s great design
Through time you’ve been a friend to me
But time is now the enemy, I wish we didn’t have to say goodbye
But I know the road He chose for me
Is not the road He chose for you
So as we chase the dreams we’re after
Pray for me and I’ll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground..
-Michael W Smith
In the quiet darkness, as I listen to rain against the window- sleep seems a thousand miles away.
I imagine that I’m driving down a road. It starts of back a long farm lane. And memories flood over me… My dad is waking me up and carrying me and my favorite blanket out to that old cab-over Pete and we spend the day on the road… Julia and I are racing up and down our walk… I’m giving Julia that infamous hair cut… Mother is discovering that rabbit that a hired man turned loose in our house… And we all cry the last milking before we move to Paradise Lane…
The road gets a little wider here. I’m beside myself over the arrival of a new sister- Emily Renee “and she looks just like Kendra”. We take her to school for show and tell when she’s about 2 years old and she charms the masses…
Another widening of the road happens when Deborah Lynette joins the gang and I’m as protective as an older sister can be. We spend hours roaming the farm- creating hideouts in the back 40- building dams in the stream… Deborah rides very nicely on the gas tank of the four-wheeler- we shout “C’mon Twerp” and we are off (Aunt Thelma says she has never heard twerp used as such an affectionate term before) And while I fulfill the ” bossy oldest sister” role quite well- I hope they know how much I love them…
The road covers a lot of ground- I fast forward through some thunderstorms and a few sinkholes… But I stop to pet that rescued fawn, to visit that Indian hut in the front yard, to supervise the archeology efforts in the garden, to sleep beside that wood stove… Admittedly we played with “the little girls” sometimes more admirably than others…
Rapidly we are at the construction stage of the road- where we are building a dairy and we have each teamed up with one of Maynard’s kids and we are all trying to keep our secret codes hidden from the rest of our family… We are the most eager dairymen on the block and we are so proud when we deliver the first calf by ourselves. The house is next and the sad farewell to the place who loved us until its last breath… “Good bye old house” I look back over my shoulder, as the road turns out of sight…
There’s lots of scenery here. Youth parties, family vacations (although a non-swimmer- My dad is fascinated by the power of the ocean.. This road is waterfront wonderfully often) A trip to the West in a gas hog of an RV, campfires, dragging meal after meal to the barn to feed a variety of work crews… Graduation parties, Trips up Reddish Knob… Responsibility arrives here in a new way- Mother and Father leave us at home alone on various occasions and Emily starts the tradition of having a health emergency Every.Single.Time… And it’s a miracle that Kendra isn’t completely gray.
The road changes courses again. It’s interspersed with travel to exotic locations and trips to barn. The field also beckons often and part of the family spends days working together to get the crop harvested and the next one planted. This mania provides for lots of memory making and epic story time… The barn provides opportunity for a hired man who in turn influence the view by introducing his culture… The most outstanding being the Amish culture- followed by a heartbreaking funeral… And then the experience of the Latino Culture- in which Deborah thrives- Quinceanera, more Spanish lessons, and Spanish church are seen here. Emily and I take a gang of girls to the West Coast for a month… Deborah hops on a bus of complete strangers and heads to South Dakota to teach Bible School- and this opportunity shapes her perspectives tremendously. Emily starts her training as an Emergency Worker. Julia slaves at the barn. My parents volley between joining in and attempting to maintain control… I love this scene. I want to just stay awhile longer… But there’s no way to stop…
The view looks different here- I enjoy my own Latino experience with a priceless time in Guatemala… Emily and Julia join a medical team trooping up the mountains of Haiti… Julia finds her own Prince Charming… The dairy cows are under new ownership… And her road forks off. Emily is plunging into more intensive schooling and being pursued by her Prince… And Deborah heads out on WATER to Nicaragua… We enjoy lots and lots of quality time- traveling here and there- making the most of the moment… And My parents are facing the reality that slowing down may be a good option somewhere in the future…
And suddenly, the road before me has never been traveled. We are not at a cross roads, but this is where the roads branch off. Emily’s is heading for Weavertown. Yes- it’s official and I’m really thrilled to gain another brother! Kerry is a good guy… August is going to be a busy time around here
And dear lil Debi’s road is taking her to be with her beloved Latino people… I love watching God work things out in my family’s lives. Things that I never could’ve put together, And I know that God will take perfect care of her…
And while I want to cry and to hold on to these days- I realize that there is so much more territory that can be covered when we split up forces… And I realize that our roads will run parallel, yet intersecting as often as possible… And if there is a pile-up on my road- that help is only a phone call away… Having sisters to create memories with has been the biggest blessing ever! And the memory creating phase is nowhere complete- unless I miss my guess…
So, Em Dear, and Darling Deborah- Go with God! May the God who has perfect knowledge of the future- order the direction of our road..
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the sun be always at your back,
May the rain fall soft upon your fields,
And- until we meet again-
May God keep you in the palm of His Hand
Beautiful Springtime/ we still have two puppies unspoken for- do you need an amazing pet? 🙂
Been thinking about you lots the past two days. Love ya!
Well said Kendra. I have been thinking a lot about your Mama these days. As a Mom watching all the fledglings “fly away” can be heart breaking and exhilarating at the same time.
Such a good way of expressing the mixed emotions of seeing your siblings take flight! I well know the feeling of wanting to grasp onto the good times now while still being excited to see how God is leading in their lives and not wanting to stifle His plan for them. Such are the trials of being an oldest I guess 🙂
Oh Ken.. you always have the ability to make me cry… i luv ya girl..