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.