I remember our oldest son’s first school bus ride. My husband, Ed, and I took the day off from work. We watched Jordan climb into the bus wearing a backpack that looked so big that we fought the urge to help. We had to let him figure it out. He grabbed the handrails and lifted himself up. We waved goodbye as the bus pulled away. We hurried to our car and discreetly followed the bus.
From the car in the school parking lot, we watched Jordan get off the bus. We tearily hugged each other. Our baby was a kindergartner.
We did this for Jordan and then again when his younger brother Sean joined him. Ed and I agreed that seeing them get on the bus together helped us feel a little less sad. They had each other to travel with not only on the bus but through life.
Years later, we watched them get on the bus to go to high school. When the bus was out of sight, Ed and I hugged for a long time.
When they went to college, we packed up the car and took each to their dorm rooms to help them move in. Ed drove home while I cried. Ed held my hand.
After college, Sean went to California. Jordan worked in China for a year. We packed a POD for Sean and a crate for Jordan to get their things across the country and to the other side of the world. Ed consoled me with glistening eyes.
Every time they climbed into a new bus or we dropped them off at the airport or watched them drive away in a packed car, our hearts ached. Together we proudly watched our sons grow into the fine young men we dreamt they would be.
Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a genetic heart defect on Aug. 1, 2020.
To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.