There is something undeniable about packing bags; it always generates some type of feeling. It is impossible not to feel something when you are packing bags. You might feel the thrill of anticipation as you pack your bags for a vacation. You might feel frustration packing your bags for the umpteenth business trip where you will be crammed into a tiny airplane seat and have a bag of peanuts tossed at you. And then there are the feelings associated with leaving home for the first time. A sleepover at the neighbor's. Summer camp. Thanksgiving at Grandma's. Going to the hospital to bring home a new baby. The feelings may not always be the same, but as surely as the winds of change blow through our lives, we pack our bags for multitudes of reasons, accompanied by multitudes of feelings.
Today, at my house, was a day of packing bags. My daughter ceremoniously said good-bye to her childhood today. She packed up her bedroom which held the treasures of her life at home. She packed her clothes to take to her new apartment where she will live as a married woman. She packed the suitcase she will be taking on her honeymoon.
She didn't share with me the feelings that she had, but I suppose they are quite universal. I suppose she felt a bit of sadness mingled with the excitement of her new life. Never one to be too attached to belongings or possessions, she probably just matter-of-factly tackled the job before her. I hope there was just a twinge of regret in leaving behind a world of doting, over-protective parents who adore her. But she is leaving our arms to be met by the arms of the kindest, caring new husband. No contest, huh?
While Erica was busy packing her bags, I had my own little project down the hall. Within the walls of my bedroom, I faced the exceptional and unique responsibility of packing another bag. I met this opportunity with respect, with reverence, with appreciation for the eternal and sacred nature of my role as Erica's mother. I was packing the bag for her to take to the temple. The feelings? indescribable.