Monday, August 25, 2008

Tears of Joy and Sorrow

Our weekend at Franciscan University Steubenville was one filled with joy and sorrow.

The accidental death of Kelly Roggensack on the previous Tuesday was felt throughout the campus. We of course prayed for her during the masses and she was remembered at many of the presentations we attended. Franciscan is special in that it is a small university and it is immersed in spirituality. The death of a student there is felt deeply by the entire community. Tears were shed in sadness for her loss and yet, as Christians, a certain joy that she will be joining our Heavenly Father.

And amongst the tears for Kelly were tears of mothers and fathers leaving their children behind. Tears of joy as we were all leaving our children in good hands. We left them in a place where they will be fed spiritually, academically, and physically. But there were also tears of sadness as we will miss our children. They have taken that first real step into the world of grownups. We won't be there to help iron out their problems, remind them to eat their vegetables, or make sure they keep their rooms tidy.

Almost nineteen years of mothering was left on the doorstep of Francis Hall. Hopefully, I gave him a strong enough foundation upon which he can build a life that is fulfilling to him and pleasing to God.

For the record, I did turn out to be the Rock of Gibraltar after all. I didn't break down into a river of tears as predicted by all my friends and family. Though I should admit it is only because I did not speak when it came time to say goodbye. When Christian told me goodbye, I only nodded. As he walked away and looked back to say goodbye again, I only waved. If I had opened my mouth, I wouldn't have been able to stop the tears to make the 5-hour drive home.

6 comments:

Lisa Sweet said...

Hi Maureen,
My husband just returned from Franciscan University this afternoon after dropping our almost 19 year old daughter off for her sophomore year (she's in Tommy More). My experience last year was similar to yours, sad but joyful at the same time. I absolutely love FUS. I wanted to share with you the wonderful growth I saw in Lexi last year. I truly felt that the seeds I was trying to plant all those years of homeschooling came to beautiful fruition in the intensely spiritual, joyful and loving atmosphere at Franciscan. A new phase of life has started...the little ones are not all at home under my wings anymore, but it is a beautiful phase also, when I can watch my daughter blossom into the lovely young lady Our Lord created her to be. I hope your son's experience is similar to my daughter's and you can watch (with blurred vision...we still miss them!) him not only grow, but soar. You have given him a great launch pad, I am sure.
God bless,
Lisa Sweet

Maureen Wittmann said...

Thank you so much Lisa!!!

An interesting aside, I have a dear friend also named Lisa Sweet.

brenda said...

Hi Maureen, I hope that all is well with you, I miss seeing you and your family since your move. Christian will love Steubie U. I felt like I was in heaven when I was blessed to be a student there in the 1984-85 school year. (I also felt a little bit of hell when it came to the academics as I had to take a lot of science for my major).Your in my prayers for a smooth transition for all of you. Brenda DeLiso

brenda said...

Hi Maureen
I miss seeing you since your move.Christian will love Steubie U. I felt like I was in heaven when I was blessed enough to be a student there in the 1984-85 school year. (also felt a little bit of hell when it came to the academics as i had a lot of science classes for my major). your all in my prayers for a smooth transition and I hope to see you and your family soon. Take Care, Brenda DeLiso

Maureen Wittmann said...

Thanks Brenda! You and Chris and the kids should come for a weekend visit ! I'll be out of town Labor Day weekend, but after that is clear sailing. We at the very least are hoping to have you for pond skating come winter!

brenda said...

sorry about the repeat, my computer has trouble with your blog and it wasn't showing up the first time. Would love to visit you sometime, the kids would definately appreciate ice-skating. I bet your husband is itching to get that going!! Winter will be here before we know it. Talk to you later. Brenda