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Home Home  >  Prayer Space > Fiat: A Reflection for the Feast of the Annunciation

Fiat: A Reflection for the Feast of the Annunciation

The pain of letting go

I leaned against the door and watched him

striding purposefully down the road

away from home, away from me.

Before he turned the corner, he stood

and waved a last farewell.

I saw him through a haze of tears

then turned slowly back into my kitchen.

The remains of our last meal together

were still on the table.

I sat by the fire his hands

had coaxed into life one last time

with sure and gentle movements

that never failed to bring Joseph

back to life for me again.

Joseph from whom our son had learnt

most all he knew of life and work and of the world

but most of all about goodness, honesty and integrity.

Joseph had gone from us these many years.

I missed him still; his strength and steadfastness

had always been like solid walls

keeping me safe from fear and strong

before the awesomeness of being

the mother of God’s Son.

Jesus had done his best to take his place,

growing to manhood suddenly,

working all the harder to provide for us.

And now he too is gone and I am alone

with only memories, the dying embers

and the scrubbed table waiting to be cleared.

Now there was no messenger to ask

for my consent; none was needed.

I knew that letting my son go his own way

responding to the Father’s voice within

was just another part of that first "yes",

and that it would continue thus,

in joy and pain, in pride and fear

as I watch him move forward

towards the fulfilment of a life that can be

nothing other than total surrender

to Him from whom he came

and to whom he will one day return

And I am lonely for him and fearful too.

But I must continue to live my "yes"

and reach out in faith and trust

to his destiny and mine.

I must let the fire he kindled die down

and clear away the traces of our last meal together.

Tomorrow, I will set and light the fire.

Tomorrow I will eat alone

and listen to the unaccustomed silence.

I will wait in readiness for the next sign

and hold myself open and pray for strength

to embrace his future and mine,

accepting it, a gracious gift

from the Father who claims him

as his beloved Son.

Mary O’Dea