Sunday, March 18, 2007

The pleasure of a grown daughter

Last fall my baby sister, who is single and lives alone, was diagnosed with cancer. She began chemotherapy almost immediately and because she lives in Arkansas, there was nothing I could do beyond praying for her and trying to encourage her. How I longed to be able to cook for her and do things for her!

I couldn't go to her, but my seventeen year old daughter could. We spent the end of 2006 reading up on cancer and nutrition, and planning meals, and then she rode back to Arkansas with my parents when they went home from their Christmas visit with us. She took her books with her, and has been writing me about her studies, in addition to regular food reports.

It's been hard for all of us having her gone for so long, but this is one thing we've been raising our daughters to be able to do - to serve those in need - and I'm so glad she's been able to do it. I'm also incredibly thankful that we've homeschooled all our children from the very beginning. If she were in a traditional school of any sort, it would have been impossible for her to go without dropping out of her senior year. As it is, she has been able to continue her studies, though they've taken a different path from what we had planned at the beginning of the school year.

I don't expect that when she returns things will back to the way they were before - she will have changed, and so will we. But I do look forward to reading and discussing things with her again face to face, continuing to train her to be a godly wife and mother, and simply enjoying her companionship. I also expect that the years between now and her eventual (Lord willing!) marriage will be similar to this one.

Bittersweet.

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