Edited to add:  I’m linking this post with Emily’s Tuesdays Unwrapped so welcome to all you friends of Emily.  She’s the best!

It’s been a busy week for our family as we anticipate the fast approaching graduation of my son, Taylor. He was honored with many of his classmates this week as being among the class to receive more honors and scholarships than any other class in the history of West High School.

He graduates with first honors….with a weighted GPA above 4.0 (I’m still not sure how that’s possible)

and will attend East Tennessee State University on a music and academic scholarship, while his best friend Andrew was honored with all the same acolades and will attend King College (only about 20 miles from Taylor’s college) on an academic and cross country scholarship.

He was honored as a member of Who’s Who and was recognized as the male ‘senior of the year’ by his music teacher for his participation in Chamber Choir.   It makes a mama proud.   And brings a mama to tears.  (and in retrospect, makes a mama wish she had insisted on that hair cut)!

 To top off the week, his band, The Verity, was invited to play at the World’s Fair Park last night in Knoxville.  The girls and I met my mom, my nieces and my nephew to tour the Sunsphere and enjoy downtown Knoxville before the concert started.

My mother’s best friend from childhood, whom I also call my 2nd mom, is the owner of the historic Thackston School, which burned a few months back and had to relocate the Holiday Inn Convention Center; conveniently located about 50 yards from the World’s Fair ampitheater.  Her son, John, just happens to have the best view of Knoxville, with his office in the top of the Sunsphere.   Needless to say, it was a fun field trip.

This is the view of the ampitheater from John’s office.

So, despite the intermittent rain, we had a ball.

I think the boys did too.  This was a beautiful venue.

Everything these days is covered with a haze, a mixture of sadness and joy.   I’m filled with pride and yet, always on the verge of tears.  I feel so blessed to take this journey with him and still apprehensive that when the time comes for me to step off the trail, I won’t be ready.  He won’t be ready.

I know that this is only the beginning for him.   The world lies in wait; ready to embrace another generation of our youth.  It’s my job to let go, to give him gladly to a world that is hurting and in need of strong minds and compassionate hearts.  And I will find a way to let go.  

Because deep down, I know that what we give away from open hands and hearts, always comes back to us.  The sadness turns to joy.   The tears are a baptism of sorts.  Drowning out the need to control….to hold too tightly.  It is necessary for this goodbye—-this death to the way things have always been—before new life can spring forth. 

I will say goodbye to this way of life.   To this way I have mothered you.  But I will not say goodbye.   I will hold you in my heart always.  Rejoicing with you in your joys.   And bearing your burdens with you in my heart….and on my knees.   I will be here for you.   Always.

29 comments on “One mama’s journey through goodbye…..”

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your son and to your journey as a mother. It’s gonna be ok mom! Easy for me to say… mine are 1, 5 and 7! But… it sounds like you have done a wonderful job preparing him and the Lord will prepare you. Be Blessed.

  2. You certainly have a lot to be proud of!! and it shows what an amazing Mom you are!!

    Congrats to both of you!!


  3. What a fabulous son you have raised. I know your pride and I also know your sorrow. It seems strange that the two can be so mixed together. It is hard to let go, but when we have to somehow the Lord provides the strength. Your son is ready to spread his wings, but he will always fly back. I think that is what makes it bearable. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

  4. Oh WOW Edie – I am typing this with tears streaming down my face. This touched me on so many levels…

    My first born is almost 14 now and I think every day about how my job is to prepare him to leave me. It’s like cutting your heart out a little bit day by day. Thank you for your beautiful perspective.

    I also related it to the recent loss of our twin daughters:

    Because deep down, I know that what we give away from open hands and hearts, always comes back to us. The sadness turns to joy. The tears are a baptism of sorts. It is necessary for this goodbye—-this death to the way things have always been—before new life can spring forth.

    This is so profound and so true.

    Thanks for sharing…


  5. oh edie… you write so beautifully, allowing us to feel what you feel-or as near to it as we can possibly come. he’s a man to be proud of-and i’m sure he thinks your a mama to be proud of.

    hey! i’ll rode trip with you when you want! 😉

  6. WOW… Miss Eddie you have much to be proud of and you said it all so beautifully in words and pictures. The guys sounded great at their performance last night. Thanks for sharing that with us. And those two cuties at the end of the post…are just THE most precious!

  7. Awe man you made me cry as I’m running out the door for my nephews wedding. Congrats to Taylor on all his accomplishments. It’s a testament to your love and nurturing. 🙂

  8. Very beautiful post, Edie. And I am a mother who understands. Our oldest is 20, and although he took a different path out the gate (with many poor decisions along the way), as his mother I always knew his potential. He’s back home, regrouping and darn it, I’m still his biggest fan and I KNOW he will become who I’ve always known he can be. Some kids just experience life the hard way….and their parents just wonder if there really are gonna be enough tears….. But I know deep down that the 1.5 years he took the alternate path is going to be such a small part of the overall story of his life……..and I suppose he wouldn’t have learned what he needed to learn any other way.

    I’m so thrilled at your son’s accomplishments and can only imagine his future. And as his momma, it’s hard to believe now, but you really will be OK. The tears will slow, the sadness will recede.

    Didn’t it sound fun to have kids so young UNTIL we are so young when they graduate?? lol I just don’t feel old enough to have a 20 year old…..I’m 42 years young. lol Ah well….time does go by so fast. You will look back on your site here as a wonderful scrapbook that you have graciously shared with us, strangers who are deeply touched by your son and your family.

    P.S. Because of the rough road our oldest son had getting through his last few years of high school, we decided to homeschool our other child the rest of the way through. He’s in 10th grade now and it’s going great. For all the reasons you wrote in your post regarding your epiphany reading that book, we feel the same way. Just don’t see the benefit of being with same age peers. Having the opportunity to stay home and homeschool him is a blessing I thank my husband for daily. We had homeschooled for a year and a half when they were in 6th and 2nd grade, but put them back in school thinking Ryan HAD to play golf, he HAD to be in public school. And yes, his golf teams won state all 4 years of high school (2 different high schools since we moved states), and he personally placed in state, but in the end, what mattered most was this – was his heart, his character, his integrity, his ability to withstand peer pressure and probably most importantly, his level of maturity……..was all that as strong as it could be?? The answer was no. We’re hoping to help our other son avoid those pitfalls and get his heart right at the outset.

    God bless you,


  9. Like Tidymom said-you have a lot to be proud of-
    but, oh does that look hard!!! Letting go is so difficult-and my “letting go” is just about going to birthday parties on their own, or field trips without me…college? Life?! Oh goodness!!!You are a good role model for me in this-what a great post!

  10. edie, that is awesome about taylor! i was also in choir at west all four years; it was a very good experience. congratulations to you and taylor!

  11. What a beautiful post!

    Thank you for pouring so much life and love into your son. He will contribute to society in such a great and amazing way, giving back what you have poured into him.

    The world will be a better place because of what an amazing Mom you are!

    Congratulations. You have so much to be proud of.

  12. Congratulations to your son and to mama! Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to see your children graduate? My oldest son will be graduating next Saturday from the university. 🙂 Then he’ll start medical school in the fall.

  13. Edie, It is against the rules to make me cry! This was such a beautiful post though. My boys are only 2 and 3 but they are growing up so fast I feel like I am gonna blink and be where you are. Congrats to you on raising such a great son, and congrats to Taylor for all those awards and scholarships.

  14. i’m not looking forward to this in 14 years!!! btw…heavn’t been here in a while and OMW!!!! the kitchen!! seriously, seriously cute!!

  15. Congratulations, for mothering well done. Thanks also for reminding me that sometimes mothering is about holding on and sometimes about letting go. My oldest turns thirteen in a few days. Your thoughts are helping me to grow into my every changing role. Thanks Edie and God’s blessings to you and yours!

  16. I feel ya! I have a son graduating this year too. But this is my 3rd go-round…I have a daughter in grad-school and a son in undergrad. Trust me. They come back.LOL. And bring friends with them (: And I wouldn’t have it any other way. You’ve raised an amazing, talented, accomplished son. Job well done!!!

  17. You said it so well and have done a great job. It’s amazing when we let them go what comes back to you in little blessings along their way. I just shared a post of my son on the honor roll in college and he was my kid that said I’m NOT going to college. Amazing! I came over from Kelly’s Korner. Connie

  18. Congratulations Taylor! And hugs Edie. I only have three years left until my oldest reaches this milestone. sniff.

  19. you are killing me with these goodbye posts! I’m tearing up for your mama’s heart. I feel the same way except different, as mine are only headed to kindergarten. I can’t imagine graduation day. Seems so far off, but I know better than to say that.

  20. Edie,

    I saw at Blissdom and wanted to say hello. My children went to West and loved the school. I hate that your boy is going to graduate.

    Love your blog and your heart.


  21. You have me crying, too. This is a subject near and dear to my heart and is, in fact, what I wrote about for Emily.

    I can see why you’re so proud of him. And I like his hair!

  22. What an exciting time for your son…and you too! Congratulations to your son and of course to you for being a dedicated and fabulous mother. Happy Mother’s Day to you and Happy Graduation(almost) to your son!

    Stay Cozy, Carrie

  23. What a wonderful tribut to your son. I watched the video, he is so very talented. You have done an amazing job and even though you will not be physically by him as he ventures into the big world, be assured he will carry you in his heart and all that you have taught him will be his guidance and strength to survive. How blessed your children are to have you as their mother. 🙂

  24. I love your blog! I LOVE your painted kitchen and all of your ideas! This is really random…..but I just noticed that my church’s van is in the background of the pic of the Sunsphere…..how crazy is that?

  25. My son, my oldest, is starting high school next month. I've been going through a little taste of this.

    He went to Washington, D.C. with his eighth grade class this June and we had a lot to do. As we went through our lists and did some shopping, I realized that we'd be preparing for a much bigger departure in just four years…and then I spent a whole week in tears.

    It's hard to see your baby grow up and I can't imagine what it will be like when he is really on his own. You should be proud of your son, he seems like a great kid. But I know that doesn't help the way you feel watching him go.

    (Love your blog, by the way!)

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