Cutting the Silver Cord

Today, I dropped my daughter off to school with track forms in hand. So excited to try her “hand” at running, she woke up early this morning and made everyone omelets. I love my sweet daughter, my first-born. Born in the very early days of my adulthood, virtually a child myself, my Ariel birthed me into motherhood and all things sacrificial. My mother and Caleb’s mother were in the delivery room when she was came into the world, with a bit of reluctance and a vacuum extractor. I still remember the doctor handing Caleb the scissors and excitedly telling him to cut the cord.

He looked more nauseated than excited. But, he accomplished the task with success, because, as I said earlier, she was off to school and her first track practice today.

Cutting the cord. It doesn’t just happen in the physical. In Ecclesiastes it mentions the silver cord. As my daughter came into the world, the silver cord that connected me to my childhood home released and a stronger cord, an invisible, silver, eternal cord was attaching it’s self to my new family. I am still in very close connection with my father and mother. In fact, I talk to them almost every day on the phone. But over the years, as my kids grow older, my attachment to my newer, immediate family grows stronger. Why? Life is flowing from me to them.

I say new, in referring to the family I started 17 years ago, because life is so fluid and so quick that it seems like yesterday that I was a teenager. I have no idea how I am at the end of my fourth decade. In my mind, I still belong to my original family, I still am fiercely connected to them, but more in a coming home kind of way. There I go to share life, not to take so much and not to give, but to share. The cord has been severed, but I come and go as a free spirit, choosing to commune with my parents who birthed me and raised me and love me.

But, here now, I am tethered. Tethered to the toothless kindergartener who trusts me to feed him and take care of him and still wants to crawl into bed after a nightmare. Tethered to the middle school athlete who stops my heart when he runs for a touchdown and warms my heart when he hugs and kisses me in public. Tethered to my beautiful, strong daughter who knows right from wrong, respects others and gives of herself the way her daddy does.

As they get older, I wonder what the future holds. It is all in God’s hands. I have seen how quickly 15 years have flown by. It was only yesterday that at 18 years old I first saw my future husband walking on a gravel road at Huntington College. That was 20 years ago. What will it feel like when I am on the letting go end as the silver cord unravels slowly as my children leave the nest? I can only imagine, as the thought takes my breath away. Where will God call them? Will they marry a person who likes to come home with them? Will they move far away or down the street? Will they start their own family and begin connecting new silver cords of their own?

And what then? My silver cord will be tied to my husband alone and to myself and to my God.

Today, sitting with my daughter in Urgent Care, waiting for the last minute sports physical (nothing like the literal last minute…), we saw an ambulance pull up. Everyday heroes in EMT jackets came through the door with an empty stretcher. A few minutes later they came back from the doctor’s office, carrying a man who has seen many decades and many memories. Following him was a short, red-eyed woman, looking very forlorn. Was she his wife? His daughter? They were both too old to tell. Both of their eyes were open, looking on in disbelief. I am not sure what they were just told, but I knew that it was most likely word that the silver cord was severing a bit more and a bit earlier than they imagined. I whispered a prayer for blessing and recovery. But, seeing the lined faces, I knew that in a blink, eternity awaits. Each memory and each breath moves us further into eternity.

My Grandmother is in heaven, and my husband’s father, and countless others who have gone before us…including one of our own children, who we lost in a miscarriage. Swept into eternity as generations before.

At the end of my life, when all has been said and done, my silver cord is still tied to my Father in Heaven, through Jesus. And when I move through life, releasing the beautiful ones he has given me, I move closer to him. Until the day my silver cord is severed to this mortal body, may I live each day for my maker. What about you? Have you been aware of the silver cord in your life?

Remember God in Your Youth

Ecclesiastes 12 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”; before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and mighty men stoop, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and those who look through windows grow dim; and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly. Furthermore, men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street. 6 Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity!”

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