The day before we left Cyprus and returned to Jerusalem we celebrated our daughter’s 22nd birthday. She invited a friend from the community where she is serving to come along for the party.
We had a meal at the Four Season’s hotel in the port city of Limassol and dessert at Color’s, an upscale ice cream bar. They have the best Italian ices and gelatos.
We had so much fun, shared some stories, savored our food, opened some gifts… I hated for it to end.
I didn’t cry when we said good-bye and the girls drove up the mountains to their home nestled in the Troodos mountains, but it was so hard to part. Of course, my husband and I know our daughter is having the best time of her life, learning the truth of the joy of serving and giving yourself for causes greater than life itself. Somehow I feel that this year will be critical for her. It is her fourth season in Cyprus. She is on staff now and a significant part of the outreach and group she is committed to. She is embracing life with gusto and soberness both. I am so proud of her choices.
When I was young, I remember someone telling me to beware, “Life isn’t a bowl full of cherries.” I guess they thought it was good advice at the time. I guess they were telling me to be sober and alert–to take life seriously.
When my daughter left and my husband and I sat in the restaurant just enjoying the ambience, the quiet, and the moment, those old words came back to me. I don’t know why. Memory is funny that way.
If I were to give my daughter some advice now, I would say, “Life isn’t a bowl full of cherries… it is a bowl full of Italian ice… at least for today. So enjoy! When the bowl is empty, fill it with gratefulness for… ‘goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life…'”
And we did enjoy the moment… we did.