Goodbye’s, Clover and Presence

Of our three grown children and their families, two of them live within a ½ hour of our home. And one of them has lived all their married life in Philadelphia andnow they are moving to the Portland, Oregon area with their 4 boys. 

Recently I wrote a prayer to God in my journal. (A lot of time my journaling is simply “praying at the point of a pen” as my mentor/Spiritual director/friend, Shirley always says.)

My mind has been racing double-time
even here as I relax on my blanket by the lake
surrounded by the sweet fragrance of clover.

clover lake opeka

Todd and his family are moving across the country in a few days

christmas mountain, ff week

And it’s hard
And I support them
As they follow your heart for them.

Some of my friends think it’s just going
west instead of east. 
"Not that much further" they say.

Well, as a matter of fact, it's a LOT further.
tod and mels adventure

Clackamas, a SE suburb of Portland is 4 times as far!    

And every day is closer to the time 
I must stand at the airport 
and wave goodbye to them 

Lord, you know the passion I have for our family 
to stay connected,
how I see my grandchildren as my ministry.
a priority in the remaining  years you give me.

But right now I am floating above the emotion
of it all,
the reality of what this means.
I won’t see them 4-5 times a year anymore
They will only come once a year, not twice.

And floating makes it easier to manage for now
but reality will hit. 
And I need a sense of your presence
as I navigate this change.  

And so I remain here on the blanket,
by the lake.
And the breeze blows.
And there it is again…
The sweet fragrance of clover.  
Considered a weed in the home owners yard,
welcomed at the park it becomes a
symbol of God sweet presence
in the middle of all the changes.

And I pick a bouquet of clover.
It sits on my window sill all week
so I don’t forget.

clover lake opeka

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

I drop them off at the airport
I stop at the lake and pick more clover
on the way home.


The John Deere tractor is here
IMG_5407And they are not. 
And the rocking chair is empty
And the house is loudly silent. 

And clover sits 
on my window sill
so I remember.


Linking with Lisha Epperson and "Give Me Grace."   Lisha is one of the regular Blogs I read.  Follow this link and take a look

Unforced Rhythms, a new community I have discovered and can relate to.

19 Replies to “Goodbye’s, Clover and Presence”

  1. I was born in Portland, raised in the NW, and have been out there many times. BUT the Lord put me in Omaha 40 years ago, and I’ve also had to drive into the East areas a number of times and very far north. I sure know the difficulties of the moving around and about. AND moving furniture, etc., can be a real challenge. Going over the mountains can be fairly easy, but needs to be done with great attention and focusing. I’ve seen much over the Rockies and Cascades and around Columbia River and other places, so just lift up the situation and, as my husband always says when I’m/or we hitting the road is that the angels will cover our car. Hope it all goes very well. Blessings…

    1. they are safely there. they did have an oil filter issue as they got to Baker City, OR – if they hadn’t stopped when they did before they got into the mountains, they could have blown the engine….we are grateful they are there safe and sound. my husband, his brother and my son’s friend went along to share the driving of the two vehicles.
      so, omaha – we lived in Fremont. do you still live in Omaha?

  2. Oh, Carol. I can read through your pain and tears the sweetness of knowing how blessed a thing it is to love each other so much that the distance is painful. It was the photos of the clovers, though, that did me in. As an Illinois native now living in North Carolina, I know the scent you speak of, but haven’t experienced it in years. It instantly, though, is a giant wave of “home” to my spirit. Can I encourage you, then, from your son’s perspective, no matter how far you go or how long it’s been, there is always a whisper of home in your spirit. Praying for God to hold you extra close during this transition time. Thank you for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

    1. thank you Beth, for your kind words. I live now in the Chicago suburbs and grew up among the cornfields of central Illinois. Lots of fragrances in nature, but clover is one of those sweet ones you just can’t get away from. I love what you say “there is always a whisper of home” no matter where you go. thanks for visiting.

  3. Oh. Carol, it’s hard to know how to respond to the raw, bittersweet beauty in this, the aching of your heart. I feel what you describe, even the way God speaks to you.I pray comfort for you, and for God’s continued whispers through the clover.

    1. thank you for visiting Amber. I have a friend who supported me though the loss of my brother 8 years ago. i called him the “friend with no answers”. Being heard – the greatest gift. thank you. hearing from them as they settle and discover great things about their new home is also a comfort. i still have the clover on my windowsill!

    1. Grandma’s get each other … yes we do! I love this stage of life when your heart gets bigger to accomodate all the lovely people that belong there!

    1. I wish you could too Shanna. I know you miss them too. I was so relieved to see that post pop up from Todd last night on Facebook “Home.” love you my friend.

  4. Carol,
    This is just beautiful. A look into your heart, and I’m hurting for that longing you express. I felt the way you will miss them. Truly, may God our comfort be your everything and encourage you with his great love in this new season. I’m glad I hopped on here…Blessings!

    1. thank you for your sweet comments Ginger. It’s sweet how those clover sprigs keep reminding me God is here. I am excited for them in so many ways. i think its a good move for them. That doesn’t make it easy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *