The Time and the Dream

25 09 2007

As per Michelle’s request in the comments, very soon I will answer the question about the little flowers. (It’s actually a rather amusing story.) But right now something else is in the forefront of my mind. You see, Luke left for Dallas this afternoon with his cousin Nathan. Not such remarkable news, except that I won’t see him again for a year. Unless I go to Cote d’Ivoire, Africa.

A whole year.

Thankfully I’ve been so preoccupied the past couple of months with preparations for Curtis and Grace’s wedding, I haven’t had the luxury to sit around contemplating exactly what his absence will mean to me. I knew it was coming, but I was busy enough to hold the emotions at bay. Even for most of today I thought, “Wow. I’m handling this really well.”

Early in the afternoon Luke wanted to spend some farewell time with his Gibson guitar, so Nathan grabbed my classical, and the two of them jammed classic Radiohead and Weezer, some current Brand New songs, and some of Luke’s originals. I just sat on the couch, soaking it in, taking pictures, singing some harmony, imprinting Luke’s face and voice on my mind. I was still fine. Happy. Glad to be enjoying those moments with him.

After he’d completely finished packing, he dashed off a quick e-mail to a friend. As he typed, something happened to my heart. It began to ache. A deep, dull ache of impending loss. I thought, “Dang it. I’m going to cry.” But even then I held it together.

He gathered his suitcase, which was more than half filled with supplies he’s delivering for World Venture, and his back pack (how do guys pack so lightly?) and headed toward the door.

“Can I pray for you before you go?” I asked.

The three of us sat on the couch and held hands. And it all crashed in. For a few moments I didn’t know if I’d be able to speak at all, but I opened my mouth and started to pray. The words kept coming, and with them a steady stream of silent tears flowed down my cheeks and landed in my lap. Like someone had turned a warm-water faucet on slow drip. But it didn’t release the pressure of the ache.

After I prayed, Nathan prayed. A sweet, life-long-soul-friend-and-brother prayer. And then they loaded the car and drove away. Just like that. I stood on the sidewalk and waved, mostly because I thought that’s what moms do. But it all felt surreal.

It’s probably a good thing that this evening I had to speak to our church’s women’s group. Instead of indulging myself in an emotional break down, I made a bunch of people laugh. And now I don’t feel like crying any more. I’m just sort of tired and numb, but also peaceful. Glad that Luke is who he is. Thankful.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the lyrics to a song he wrote not too long ago for two friends who were about to get married. The words say a lot to me about Luke’s faith and outlook on life. They stir memories from the past–Great Ormond Street hospital in London is a reference to Peter Pan, a story my kids and I love–and hope for the future. The time and the dream will each in turn return redeemed. There’s so much to ponder there.

So, here it is. Great Ormond Street, by Luke Damoff.

I have watched the dance you weave
Run back and forth between the trees
It has been redeemed
And it will be redeemed

And the rain may fall on your wedding day
Don’t pray the clouds away
They were sent as a grace

And the rain will rise from churchyard stones
Your mother cries ‘cause her child is grown
But we all laugh because we know
Your love has found its home

At the end of Great Ormond Street
A mother cries just for relief
Will her tears be redeemed?

Cause the rain will fall on courtyard stones
And the child cries when he’s left alone
And the siren’s wail will let you know
That love is going Home

But if the rain won’t fall, then the grass can’t grow
Though we’re all just scared of dying alone
Do not fear—just know
That Love will guide us Home.

The time and the dream have each in turn returned redeemed.
The time and the dream have each in turn returned redeemed.
The time and the dream have each in turn returned redeemed.
The time and the dream have each in turn returned redeemed.

Go in peace, Luke, to love and serve the Lord. Alleluia. Alleluia.


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8 responses

26 09 2007
Anonymous

You have a beautiful child, Jeanne. He’s a testimony to your beautiful redeeming and redeemed love.
Heather G.

26 09 2007
Anonymous

Blessings

Blessings on Luke and Grace and Curtis and you and George and Jacob — lots of big changes in your family, but they’re wonderful changes, too. It’s hard to see a child go far away, but to know he’s walking with the Lord helps, I think. I’m reminded of a story we tell in our family. My mother’s oldest sister (my Aunt Helen) married a missionary and the next day they were off to prepare to go to China. Someone asked Grandma if it was hard to see her daughter go so far away and Grandma told her that since she and Grandpa had raised their children to love and serve the Lord how could they be sorry to see them live that out? Of course Grandma missed Aunt Helen, but it was precious to see her living her faith. (and Aunt Helen and Uncle Eugene, now in their 80s, are still on the mission field in Thailand)
You’ve raised your children to love and serve God and now they are. I’ll keep Luke in my prayers this year.
Linda G.

27 09 2007
Anonymous

Wow, made me teary too. It’s hard being a mom. There’s that whole bittersweet thing of raising them to do what God designed them to do, and then having to let them go do it.

Luke is an awesome young man, a talented songwriter, and has a terrific mom. Your children are such an amazing testimony to your faithfulness to God. Now there’s a legacy.

Love,
Jen T.

29 09 2007
jeannedamoff

Thank you, Heather. He called yesterday to let us know he arrived safely with all his luggage. He sounded upbeat and eager. Hearing his voice made me so happy!

29 09 2007
jeannedamoff

Re: Blessings

Wow, Linda! What an amazing story about your Aunt Helen and Uncle Eugene. Thanks for sharing that. And thanks for praying.

Love, Jeanne

29 09 2007
jeannedamoff

Thank you, Jen. I know life has thrown a lot at you and your kids this year, too. Sometimes it’s tempting to worry that the rough seas will discourage them, but I honestly believe those are the times their faith takes anchor. (It’s boating metaphor day, I guess. heh.)

Thanks for your kind words about Luke. I’m very thankful.

Love, Jeanne

30 09 2007
Anonymous

Africa. . .

I’m so excited about this new chapter in Luke’s life, and hope you will continue to keep us updated on his journey (and if he has an email list, would you add me to it?).

And yes, I cried on this post too.

2 10 2007
jadeddissonance

I don’t really know how to react. Luke was here in Wheaton, but I was in Los Angeles. I think I want to save up money and visit him. Luke is one of my favorite things about going to Wheaton. He is the best roommate I’ve ever had. I know that he will accomplish great things because the Lord’s Hand is with him.

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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