The Arrow Was Launched

Our son, Equine J, married his bride, KL, on July 29th, 2017 at a Brownfield, Maine venue that overlooked the surrounding mountains. The skyline was spectacular. The rustic barn, the pond, the trees and flowers on the property were beautiful.

Equine J is the first of our children to marry, and at times in the past year was so surreal. I mean, I do have a 9 year old, so I’m clearly not old enough to have an adult son, right? (My hair says otherwise.)

As it turns out, being the mother (or father) of the groom can be a rather emotional experience. Much of that emotion is expected to be kept to one’s self in our culture, it seems. I mean, after all, we’re supposed to be happy to have raised an exceptional young man with work ethic and integrity, and that he found the woman God planned for him. We’re expected to be relieved and celebrate that the teen years are over, that apron strings are cut, and celebrating our own freedom from the hardships of parenting. (So what if you happened to love parenting, raising children in their faith, encouraging their life long pursuit at education, and don’t feel that relief that others celebrate?) We are thrilled beyond belief that Equine J found a Christian woman to spend the rest of his life with, to plan a family with, and to go after their goals and dreams together. We are thrilled that they share a vision for service. There is so much about which to be grateful and happy!

It’s not that we’re not happy. It’s that no one told us about the grieving that came with the joy.

Before the wedding was to start, I noted my son sitting alone. The other seven of Equine J’s first family were coveting what little shade there was on the porch, trying to keep our mood light, so as not to risk Mom’s mascara running as the wedding started. I tapped Equine J, and asked him to join us, we intended only to have a family huddle hug, but it turned into a family prayer with me leading, and keeping that lump in my throat from escaping.

During the wedding I listened to my husband weep, as I barely held the tears in my eyes.

I did well all through the wedding, pictures were fun, and visiting with friends and family was fun.

And then, it was time for the Mother-Son dance, to a song I’d never heard. The words took my breath away as I listened to what my son had chosen for our dance. I alternated between laughing at funny memories, and weeping at mistakes, both of which raised the boy to be the man he is.



~Garth Brooks

A little baby told God, “Hey, I’m kinda scared
Don’t really know if I want to go down there
From here it looks like a little blue ball
That’s a great big place and I’m so small”

“Why can’t I just stay here with you
Did I make you mad, don’t you want me to?”
God said, “Oh, child, of course I do
But there’s somebody special waiting for you”

“Yeah, and you were ten hours late, don’t you know! ” I laughed in Equine J’s ear.

And well worth the wait, my son. You were a beautiful almost blonde haired, hazel eyed baby boy with big cheeks and a hearty appetite. Back in the day, I loved walking you in our mint green baby stroller and cruising around the town to pay our bills on foot and to story time at the library.

And the truck book I read to you every three hours through your toddlerhood days. I miss that. “Up, up, up goes the cherry picker. They’re repairing the power lines above the street…”

So, hush now baby don’t you cry
‘Cause there’s someone down there waiting
Whose only goal in life
Is makin’ sure you’re always gonna be alright
A loving angel, tender, tough and strong
It’s almost time to go and meet your mom

I would often quote: Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9

Teaching penmanship to my new Kindergartner, homeschooling on our very first day of school, “That’s not how Mrs. Black told me to make my H’s.” Equine J retorted. “I’m not Mrs. Black, dear son. ” I replied. 

You’ll never have a better friend
Or a warmer touch to tuck you in
She’ll kiss your bruises, your bumps and scrapes
And anytime you hurt, her heart’s gonna break

Except I made him walk home from a bike accident that ultimately landed him in the hospital ER with bruised ribs, his teeth piercing through his tongue, a hematoma the size of a dinner plate on his thigh, and a nice concussion.

Well, there is also the day the boy cried because he found out his horse pal Cliff was moving away. On the last day he worked with him, I went out and took photos and saw his relationship with the horse. 

And, there was the day I went with him to bring home a badly behaved, rude horse named Dancer whose attitude matched Equine J’s…

…who ultimately shaped Equine J’s character as he developed a relationship and trained the horse. I saw the work ethic and drive in a boy that had previously seemed irresponsible. These two became quite a team for a couple of years. 

Now, when she’s talking to you
Make sure you listen close
‘Cause she’s gonna teach you everything
You’ll ever need to know
Like how to mind your manners
To love and laugh and dream
And she’ll put you on the path
That’ll bring you back to Me

In second grade, I made Equine J pay for the brand new socks he wore outside without shoes. He kept putting holes in his socks as a result. Then, when he couldn’t tell me how much change he would get for his $8 package of socks, I took his $20 bill for not knowing his math lessons. Graceless parenting at its not so finest.  I felt bad, and deposited the money back into his savings account. 

So, hush now little baby don’t you cry
‘Cause there’s someone down there waiting
Whose only goal in life
Is making sure you’re always gonna be alright
A loving angel, tender, tough and strong
Come on child
It’s time to meet your mom

You are launched, dear son. You are a blessing, a reward, a heritage. Through all our mistakes, failures, and successes, sweat, laughter, and tears, it has been a joy to watch you become the Christian man you are, and I look forward to the joy of seeing the family you and your new bride create. You are both so loved.

With Love,