Last weekend we lost our sixth-born to Eastman School of Music, where he’s just beginning a 5-year Ph.D. program in musicology. Of course, we’re thrilled for him, although after enjoying his company here in Michigan for all his life (and approaching half of ours), it will be a huge personal “loss” to be without his affectionate hugs and companionship as part of the foursome (with Alan and me) that’s remained now that our five oldest are all married and only Stephen and Joel are single and at home with us during summer vacations.
(Sammy is Stephen Samuel’s namesake.) It may be an even harder adjustment for Stephen and Joel, who’ve been pretty much inseparable buddies for almost 100% of their lives! However, where would we be without growth, and that almost always presupposes some pain—growing pains—my mother used to say. Last year Stephen served as the music director at The Community in Ada, where he thoroughly enjoyed his experience working with their pastoral staff. (This is Billy Norden, who’s the senior pastor at the church and a great guy!) Stephen was also a part of “The Makeshifts,” who provide music for various community activities. Going to Eastman has been a dream come true for him, as “it is often ranked among the finest music schools in the world” (according to Wiki, not just his mother’s biased opinion). Needless to say, he’s thrilled…albeit super busy, since, not only did he just move to Rochester last weekend, he’s presenting at a musicology conference at Fordham U. in NYC this week! Joel and I had the privilege of helping him move, so that soothed my heart a lot, since I love being able to see where my chicks build their nests and check out their new neighborhood. Also, Stephen’s oldest brother, Aaron, and his family are heading west in their own move from NY to CA and stopped in Rochester to see Stephen’s new digs and give him hugs! We had a great time on our venture but are feeling quite nostalgic all the same. May God bless and keep him, as I know He will! “The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments” (Habakkuk 3:19).