Trail of Tears

By Kim Roberts

As we entered into January my youngest daughter, who is a senior, told me she was essentially finished with high school. I replied, “No, the next semester counts, too. You need to finish strong.”

I know, she thought, since she had already been accepted into several colleges, she had reached the finish line. I, on the other hand, still want to savor every second, every minute of this time together before we launch our last child out into the world.

I vividly remember my oldest daughter’s senior year, and I feel like we were in such a hurry to check things off a to-do list and get her to college that I’m not sure we stopped and smelled the roses along the way.

I do vividly remember bringing her to LSU and seeing her standing there as we drove away. My husband called that ride home the trail of tears because I cried the whole way home – and several days after. My tears were not because I did not think she was prepared for the challenge at hand, but for the immense loss I felt and the shift in our home dynamics.

I leaned on the Lord really hard during that time. I was surprised how sad I actually was, but he saw me through.

That was the first time I prayed the rosary with intention and felt every word. When my son left for college, I was a little better prepared. I was sad and cried, but had my rosary at the ready. Now I am older, and my youngest is about to leave the nest. This time around, I feel a bit more prepared for this life-changing event.

If anything, I know my faith is stronger, and I know I can lean on it when necessary. I’m not saying there won’t be a trail of tears in the fall, but I will have my rosary in my purse for the trip.

May God bless all of us moms with seniors preparing to graduate. Let us be reminded to enjoy these last few months of high school with them. We’ve got this.

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