Last night was my last night in my ‘pineapple bed’. It was a good night of sleep, but surreal, too. At the beginning of this process, I wrote an entire post about how much I love my bed.
I started sleeping on that bed while I was still married. We bought it in 1999 after flooding from Hurricane Floyd ruined our old bed. I slept on it through my separation and divorce, through my move here, through job changes and processing this new call. After being away on a trip, that first night of sleep in my bed has always been the way I know I’m truly home.
Later today, a very nice young man is coming to buy my bedroom suite. It will be packed up and driven away. I’m sadder than I thought I’d be. It’s silly, I know. After all, it’s just a bed…
I’ve spent my week sorting through my things. I must admit, it’s been more tiring and time-consuming than I had anticipated. Friends helped me drop off a whole bunch of stuff to Gift & Thrift (the local Mennonite Central Committee thrift store). Along with clothes and books (lots and lots of books) were most of my porcelain shoe collection and my chicken knick-knacks collected over my nearly ten years with Perdue.
As I drove away, one of the workers was peering into one of my boxes. I wanted to stop and run over and tell him that it was good stuff, stuff I had used and loved and had been a part of my life. It wasn’t just junk he had to sort through, it was a part of my memories, part of me. I didn’t do it, of course. Instead, I drove away. It’s going to sound cliché and way too cheesy, but it really did feel like I was leaving a little bit of myself.
And, it’s not just the stuff. As I said, I’ve spent this week sorting through things. I’ve also had lots of ‘last meals’ with friends. It’s been fun (the meals, that is!) but underlying them has been a sense of something ending. And, of course, something is! Even though I don’t see a lot of these sisters in Christ very often, the point is, I could, because we’re in the same city. Now, that option will be gone.
With each person I’m saying goodbye to, I’m also feeling like I’m leaving a part of me. One after another is important, but emotionally exhausting. Instead of one single injury, it feels like dozens of tiny ones.
Like a paper cut, all of these partings feel like a series of sharp quick wounds. Not enough to keep me from working, but enough to make me stop for a moment. There’s an intense stab of pain, a gasp of breath, a little blood, and on I go.
I realize I’m becoming morbid and starting to feel sorry for myself! And so, I’m thankful tomorrow I will begin some ‘first’ things. The first time I see Palmer Lake, Colorado, the first time I meet my fellow MTI-ers, the first time I go for a walk and drink in the beauty God has created there.
Despite all the things I am leaving here left undone (seriously, it’s frightful!) I’m hoping I can turn off, at least for a while, the constant whirl of ‘to-do’s, and really focus ahead.
The Lord willing, my next post will be from Colorado – perhaps even with a picture or two!! Until then, whether you are in your own season of ‘goodbyes’ or ‘hellos’ or perhaps just a time of ‘holding’ I pray you will sense the presence of the One who is able to keep us – and who continues to do more than any of us could ask or even imagine! To Him belongs all glory!!