Day Before Day One

Mystic River

There is no poetry or paint brush strokes adequate enough to describe this day. For many, it appears to be nothing more than a day to drop your child off at college and text them on the way home — just because you can. But it’s far more, far different. Capped with a silent ride home and a silent summer ahead.

At the United States Coast Guard Academy, it proves to be much different. And while we have yet to experience Day One, that will be tomorrow, today seems like a punch in the gut none-the-less.

No doubt the day was exhausting walking the hilly campus, attending worship together on campus and selecting favorite items from the Exchange to wear — but more so to actually reflect. Emotions were high all day, but often masked by a giggle, a joke, or jesting throughout the day. Dad knew better and recognized it for what it truly was — even he understood what his pre-cadet was feeling. I get it.

We received the heartfelt encouragement and truth about what to expect in the days to come, months to come and even a year or two from now. It’s all so surreal and like my own first day of college some 25 years ago, I felt overwhelmed with even a drop of information.

The sun has set on this day before Day One and with it, the passing of precious time that felt indefinite this morning. It feels like forever just ended. And yet, tomorrow is not the end, but the beginning of a new life, a new way, a new loyalty, and a new perspective. It’s exactly what he wants and craves. Yet, tonight he said goodbye. Yes, we’ll see him tomorrow, but only for a very short time.

Good bye for now my son, but only for a short while. Tonight the sun has set on this day, but my love for you has grown beyond the stars. My words cannot express how proud I am of your willingness to serve our country and keep Christ your King. There is no doubt I will miss you — every day you are gone. I know you are in His hands, with a hedge of protection and God’s angelic hosts on your every side.

Now go . . . go with the faith of Daniel, bravery of David, wisdom of Solomon, obedience of Abraham, strength of Samson, and forgiveness of Joseph. Seek His face and hear His voice.

I love you son! You are my hero!

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