Still Saying Goodbye To My Kids… :,(

Happy Tuesday!

I’m writing form Northern VA this morning, @ Heaven Balsamo’s new college home. Coree is staying here for a few weeks while his dorm is being prepared.

After a very long day of packing, loading, driving, unloading (up and down three flights of stairs), unpacking, and grocery shopping… in torrential rainy conditions, Heaven and Coree are officially gone from home.

Whereas Emily and I are thrilled to watch them leap from our safe nest and into the boundless skies, we’re beside ourselves about having to leave them here.

I really have no idea how I am going drive away from here this evening. Dear God, if I have ever needed you, I need you now.

Coree Johnathan Balsamo

I still remember like it was yesterday, the moment Coree was born… it is the only time in my life when I cried without knowing that I was crying. Then, I cut the umbilical cord and held him in my arms for the very first time (after Emily held him first of course). He has been such a good son. Even the things I would have changed about him throughout the years… I now see those things as his greatest strengths. Coree has a compassionate heart, brilliant mind, creative spirit, and a deep love for God that will never fade away. Coree values family more than any kid his age. He is going to make a great husband and father someday. Coree is ready to fly!

By the time Coree was just a little over 1 year old, Emily had successfully claimed him as her mommas boy. I’ve never tried to fight Emily on this, knowing the way her eyes light up every time his name is mentioned. She loves Coree exactly the way my mom loved me… and it’s such a beautiful thing to watch. Coree sure does love her back… with a love that makes her SHINE!

I’ve heard it said that once children become young adults, sons gravitate toward their Dad’s and daughters gravitate toward their Mom’s, as they face gender specific adult issues. It’s ok, because I know my son loves me and I’m ok with him being a momma’s boy… but I am definitely excited about developing more of that man to man relationship with my amazing son throughout the many years to come!

And then came Heaven

It was way back in the summer of 1992, you can never imagine the joy I found on that August day when I first held my daddy’s girl! We named her Heaven to contrast the difficulties Emily endured during that pregnancy. Heaven is the child that almost didn’t make it. I’ll never forget standing outside of the surgery room at UVA while Emily went under the knife @ four months. I pleaded with God to let my baby live… to let her develop perfectly and not come into this world until the time was just right… to make her healthy and happy all the days of her very long life. God answered those prayers!

Heaven has been the greatest daddy’s girl of all time. She has always been so much more than beautiful to me. Heaven is turning into the Bibles ideal lady… a Proverbs 31 woman! Well, almost. She has not acquired a love for children yet… but I’m positive this will change WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT. And she will bear us a few beautiful grandchildren. lol

Heaven is my personal cheerleader. She always makes me feel like I’m the greatest human being alive. The way she adores me… it melts my heart! The bond between us is so strong, I fear how she will survive my eventual death. If anybody in this whole world NEEDS me and gives my life purpose, Heaven does. And I need her so badly, it’s killing me to let her go.

Coree + Heaven = Joy!

Heaven and Coree laugh more than any teenagers… they smile big and laugh hard! They are dangerously adventurous! When Heaven walks into a room, the pictures fly off the walls! Her energy is way off the charts! It’s highly contagious! No matter how I am feeling when Heaven shows up, I am always feeling better in less than two minutes! Coree’s energy is more of an internal energy. Even though he has his hyper moments, Coree does not speak or act until the timing is PERFECT. Coree has the gift of influence, everybody does whatever Coree does! Coree never does the same thing twice. He is a creator!

Put Coree and heaven in the same room and something EPIC always happens! For 18 years, they have painted our lives with JOY. And when we go back home today without them, we will never have this DAILY privilege again. :,(

Most adult couples have best friends outside of the family. Even though we have many great friends, Coree and Heaven are by far, our BEST friends! We love them as much as two parents can love their kids. God, we need your help today…

This blog was written with more tears than any other.

I guess the only downside to sharing this kind of love is the pain it creates during separation.

‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. -Alfred Lord Tenyson

Dear God help me!

This morning, I pray for relationships… that God will heal fractured family and friendship, strengthen decent ones, and give you a bond of love like the one I’ve written about this morning. I pray also, for every mom and dad who is suffering as we suffer today. I pray for every child who is heading off to college, or into the military, or into marriage, etc… for every person who has every had to say a painful goodbye… for every person who is saying a painful goodbye today. God give you peace.

Psalms 31:9 O’ Lord have mercy on me in my anguish. My eyes are red from weeping; my health is broken from sorrow.

Psalms 147:3 He heals the broken heartened, binding up their wounds.

John 14:18 No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm-I will come to you.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and  strength, a very present help in times of trouble.

Jeremiah 31:13 I will turn their mourning into gladness. I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

2 Corinthians1:3-4 What a wonderful God we have-He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.And why does He And why does He doe this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.


I just finished praying for you, hoping you really feel the difference. Please let me know about how this blog positively affects your life today.

Leave your comments here on the blog site so that we will always have a record of your beautiful thoughts.

With much love…

Dream Big, Live Bold, and Make the Difference!


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8 thoughts on “Still Saying Goodbye To My Kids… :,(

  1. All I can say is I am crying like a baby. My heart aches for you and Emily, but I know you will be ok. I have already watched my oldest leave home and make a life for himself, but I am not looking forward to doing it two more times. Love and prayers to you guys.

  2. Chuck,I feel your pain in my heart.You and Emily are wonderful parents. Coree and Heaven were truly blessed when GOD sent them to you. I don't have the words to ease your heart…But just lean back against Gods chest,He will wrap His arms around you both and all will be well.

  3. This blog is true! Every word. I’m sure there are so many who ache for a family like this one. I know the pain of separation is DEEP because the love was allowed to root DEEPER. It may seem unbearable but it is beautiful!

    Pastor and Emily, your kids were like cat-nip to my little lion cubs! And I loved/love being around the whole brood of them! Laughter is like a medicine!

    … So many places our minds can travel back to and the corners of our mouths involuntarily curl up. I remember an evening when Heaven was about 12 or 13… I was watching from a crowded distance as she implored her dad’s permission to take a short trip with another family; from her heated reaction, I could tell the answer was a negative!

    Immediately, her dad took her hand and pulled her into an embrace then began saying something in her ear with his cheek right against hers. Before I knew it, the two of them were poking and jabbing one another playfully and Heaven was giggling loudly. She returned to a group of friends and continued chatting happily as if nothing had happened. I remember having the sensation of glimpsing Christ that evening, through the lives of new friends.

    I’m praying for your journey home, Chuck and Emily! The sun is out. I was just thinking, with people like Coree and Heaven stepping into the world, the future won’t know what hit it!

  4. As you drove away, and they were waving goodbye,

    They were aware of the tears that were flooding your eyes.

    As the rain fell while the load you carried,

    The sun peeked through so as not to leave your joy buried.

    From birth to now you've been their cover,

    You've loved them and nurtured them like no other.

    You showed them the way and taught them how to pray,

    The Word is hidden in their hearts and they will not stray.

    Be it that they lose sight of Christ one day,

    May His hand gently guide them back into His way.

    When they explore and discover,

    May even more talents be uncovered.

    May they set this world on fire and blaze a new trail,

    May they tell people about Jesus so others can escape Hell.

    Father, it is okay to cry and let your heart feel,

    It just goes to show your love for them is real.

    Mother, catch two tears, one for each child,

    As down your cheek the tears slide.

    See that you can not hold onto those tears,

    For just like children, they soak every empty space of past years.

    When you held little fingers for the first time,

    When you read them a story or nursery rhyme.

    When Bible verses were memorized,

    When the little God sightings brought tears to your eyes.

    Father and Mother,

    Say to Sister and Brother,

    See you later, this is not goodbye,

    I will be praying for you, see you in due time!

    Original poem by: Brandy Hatcher 9/28/10

  5. Dear Chuck and Em,

    Just last night Randy and I were talking about how it was going to be tough on you guys for a bit without Coree and Heaven at home, but then we got to laughing about all the phone calls, emails, texts, letters, and packages you will send them and you will receive from them. When we left Justin and Ashley's yesterday I cried. I think I do everytime, but not for long because then Randy will tell me a funny story of something that happened during our time with them. Through the 9 years of our marriage I've enjoyed seeing Justin and Randy bond. They are true best friends, but also father and son. I know one day Chelsea and Randy will bond also. I won't ever give up that hope.

    It wasn't until I moved away that I truly appreciated my (guardian) parents. I love them dearly and always have, but as an adult we have a unique relationship that means the world to me. I love calling them and emailing them. I also love visiting them. When I see them it is as if we are picking up on a conversation we had the last time we saw each other.

    I know that it will be that way with you guys and Coree and Heaven. You aren't too far away from them and you will be able to see them often. It is an adventure and you 2 will always be apart of their adventures in some form or another. Also, I do believe you 2 will develop into another level of your marriage. Who knows you could develop 2 more books through this adventure. One on kids going to college and another on married life with adult children.

    Coree and Heaven are going to change DC one day at a time. I look forward to learning of their adventures in college and living in DC. That could be a reality tv show and I would tune in weekly.

    We are praying that God gives you strength and peace during this transition time.

    Love you 2,


  6. Whew! This makes me want to go upstairs and crawl in bed with my kids and keep them forever little! I know we are already past that age now.

    Your family is such an example of true loving friendship, pure joy, real relationship! Thank you for modeling that so well in front of all of us as our leader.

    We love you all and we are praying for peace and joy to continue as we know it will. God is with you all no matter where you live, together or separate.

  7. Brandy,

    Your poem is beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. How inspirational and inspiring. You truly have a gift and I hope one day to read more of your work.