Wrong, Isobel. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I feel so incredibly sorry for you (and I'm so bummed that Matthew is off the show!); but you are still wrong. Because once a mother, always a mother. You can't hug and kiss him anymore, Mrs. Crawley, and you'll miss him all the days of your life; but his soul lives on, and the love between a mother and son survives even death.
I have been struggling myself the past few years, trying to get used to the idea that the caretaking part of my mothering job is coming to an end. I have always been a stay-at-home mom, happiest when I'm feathering my nest and feeding the chicks in it. But the time came when they started to fly the coop, one by one, first leaving for college, and then heading out into the working world. Now two of my boys are married and a third will be tying the knot in February. My youngest son will become an official adult when he celebrates his 21st birthday in a few weeks. When he graduates from the University of Notre Dame in May of 2015, my career--my life's work--will be completed.
Or will it? Does a mother ever stop worrying about her children--and doing whatever she can for them--no matter how old they get?
No, she doesn't. I know this from experience now.
Moms, don't listen to Isabel. She'll always be Matthew's mother. I know that even if God had only blessed me with one son, instead of five (my cup runneth over!), and that son had preceded me to Heaven, I would still be a mother.
There are wonderful moments in store for you, mothers of young children. They will become independent, they will move away, they will start families of their own. But there will be incredibly joyful experiences to enjoy with them in the future, such as mother-son dances (like this one with my firstborn son at his wedding in 2009), where you will shed tears of joy while dancing in the arms of the little boy you raised, the man who has become a husband to a new daughter.
There will still be heart-melting hugs and kisses like this (from son #2, who was the best man at his older brother's wedding).
If they'd never grown up, I wouldn't have had the chance to become a grandmother--and now that I have three absolutely precious little granddaughters, I can't imagine my life without them in it.
So now I'll not only be forever a mother; I'll be forever a grandmother, too (lucky me!).