Coming Home (Finally!)

10350 Royal Oak CtToday we officially begin a new chapter in our lives, having closed on our first home here in Indiana. We put off buying a place until we were sure we were staying put, having taken a total bath when we sold our last home in Michigan. Although moving is never fun, there were some bright spots. One of the brightest was meeting the former owner, a preacher’s wife with a fifty-year-old son with special needs. Her husband had died of Alzheimer’s disease several years ago, and it was clear she needed to sell the home because it had become too much for her. It was equally clear that she regretted having to leave.

She graciously allowed us to come in to the house to paint Christopher’s new bathroom, turning it from cotton-candy pink to Legend of Zelda green. She offered us some of the things she and her husband had collected in their missionary travels, things she couldn’t bear to send to Salvation Army but could not keep herself. I looked at her and recognized a kindred spirit, someone who had lived through difficult circumstances, yet remained confident in the benevolent providence of the Almighty (at times despite all appearances to the contrary). I suspect our paths will cross again.

Even so, I felt (perhaps “hoped” is a better word) as though in meeting Donna, I had been given a glimpse into the future. Her children grown and gone, for the most part, she could look around her and see in every room signs of a life well lived, icons of memories past. Once she had an offer, she set to the work of detaching herself from these things, paring her life down to the essentials. And yet she exuded love and kindness, for her identity was not in “stuff.” They were means to an end, not the end in itself.

That’s the kind of person I aspire to be as I grow older. Even if we were to stay here twenty years or more, I aspire to be the kind of person who can detach so easily, and give so generously. “You never see a U-Haul behind a hearse,” the saying goes. Thanks, Donna, for the reminder. We promise to take good care of our house. Come and see us soon. We’ll leave the light on for you.

 

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Keep Moving…

boxesOne week and counting until the moving truck pulls up. The dog expresses anxiety by whining and repeatedly wrapping herself around my ankles, tripping me every time I take a box to the dumpster. The kids express their anxiety by attempting to kill each other several times a day and bouncing off the walls. It’s exhausting work, filling a fifteen yarder and ensuring the health and wellbeing of our local Goodwill for the foreseeable future, but the end is in sight.

This exercise in detachment seems tailor-made for Holy Week. Since the second and final truck pulls out the Monday after Easter, we’ve simplified the Easter celebrations, putting a few Easter treats in a travel bag and trying to figure out how to have Christopher’s confirmation celebration on a folding table and a shoestring. Since there are technically 50 days of Easter, we will celebrate NEXT weekend (Mercy Sunday), all the mercies we’ve received this year, to keep us moving together toward Easter joy.

Pray for us!

Happiness Is . . . a Fresh Start

boxesWhat’s your idea of a fantastic Mother’s Day? Brunch with mimosas? A family picnic? A quiet breakfast in bed?

For me — at least this year — it’s a large stack of empty boxes and a new address. A lilac and dogwood are in bloom in the back yard. Within fifteen minutes of arriving, a neighbor boy dropped by to offer to mow the lawn. Six hours later, a friend had detailed the bathroom and painted my daughter’s room pink.

With luck, we won’t need to move again for a long, long time.

Happy Mother’s Day!