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.) Lord, 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. Todd and his family are moving across the country in a few days And it' 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. Clackamas, a SE suburb of Portland is four 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. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Today: I drop them off at the airport I stop at the lake and pick more clover on the way home. Now The John Deere tractor is here They are not. The rocking chair is empty The house is loudly silent. And clover sits on my window sill again, so I remember.