Tonight I said goodbye to my girl, Lisa - the first Tuesday to leave the nest. She sent me home with her bridal bouquet, sunflowers wrapped in white satin ribbon, from her wedding on Saturday. They sunflowers would never survive the drive to her new home, so I'll keep them in a vase on my kitchen counter for the rest of their days.
Tonight, my heart is remembering years of life together. Camping trips. Fourth of July sparklers. Her quick wit. Her sassy confidence. The flowered coffee cup in my cupboard that will forever be hers.
I held her babies before they drifted out of our lives and on to heaven. She knew my husband. Those two facts alone mean she is forever sewn into me.
It is a privilege to love so hard, to ache this much. Spread your wings and fly, beautiful butterfly girl.
p.s. This does not, however, mean that we are accepting applications to fill her spot at the table. She's not gone. She's just Skyped in.