It doesn't take very long to go from this...
We're in the home run stretch of this move. The movers come on Thursday afternoon to load everything up and will deliver it Friday morning in Parksville. We'll spend the night at our daughter's home.
Over the past several weeks this place where we live has been transformed from a home into a house, a mere shell of the life it once held. Grief and loss are represented in the packing up of treasures of memories. A sense of forlornness fills the rooms. Pictures removed from walls leave blank spaces that are echoed in my thoughts of our immediate future.
This house, our home, has seen enormous joy and enough heartache to make the joy brighter. One high school graduation, three university graduations, two weddings, innumerable raucous family dinners, overnight guests from near and far who have shared pieces of our lives, game nights by the fire, great cooking, dreams, sorrow, and tear-inducing laughter.
This move is our 20th major shift in 33 years of marriage. I grieve moving away from this home because it's the last place we have lived together as a family. It's the place we've lived the longest - almost 8 years. In fact, that doubles the length of the previous longest stay. I know that our new home will be filled with even more laughter, joy and fun times together as a family, but the children will come only as visitors. And that's the way it should be as children grow up, leave home and make their own homes. There's an adventure awaiting Tim and me and I will embrace it in time. But for now, a little grief is in order to enable me to move on.
On Sunday night, the concept of home was reinforced here. Our youngest came home to spend the night because she was sick. Her boyfriend didn't think she should be alone and brought her here, vomiting and pale. We dragged a mattress from the pile, rummaged to find sheets, blankets and towels, and tucked her in. She had a nasty bug and she spent a sleepless night. Yesterday she managed to hold down some liquid and a few crackers but she spent the day on the couch. I wandered in and out of the room, talking when she felt like it, letting her snooze as needed. And I realized that home is more than a house - it's about the people who love and live together whether or not we all share the same roof. I was so very, very happy that she came. Thank you Ashley. I'm sorry you were sick, but you have given me a tremendous boost.
On Sunday the church gave us this beautiful bouquet of flowers. It's wonderful to have something beautiful to look at in the midst of the current chaotic state of our house.
Last night a group of my friends with whom I've worked in the women's programs at church took me out for dinner and gave me this planter filled with beautiful herbs. I am so blessed.
I don't make friends easily and I'm dreading starting over again. But one thought I had when I found out that we were moving comforted me - my blogging friends will still be there, and I can visit you every day. You, my readers, mean a lot to me. Thank you for reading and for commenting. I've found connections through blogging that have surprised me and make me smile. You are my friends and I treasure you.