"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sorting and Slowly Saying Goodbye

She is sorting her room.  It's time.  In 12 short weeks, she will pack up and leave this home... beginning the launch into a new world.

Bravely, she has been sorting and purging her things.  Her clothes...  ah!! but, I remember her in that shirt, that dress, that sweater!  

This girl, my sweet girl.  The one who keeps everything... the girl who remembers gifts given to her from 10 years ago.
With courage, she sorts and she purges.

Her art... her crafts...her jewelry... her books...   ah!  I remember those art books and the years of painting with those brushes!   ah!  I remember her devouring that book series.  

Unlike some, we don't have the freedom (or the "illusion" of freedom) to assume we will be in this physical place forever... so she has to pack it all up.  It all needs to be put in a box or a bag... a few things to store for "memory" sake (can Grandma's attic even take any more of our things!?)  ...a few things to fill a dorm room.

Most of her things...  most---we will just give away.  The first load went today.  Dad drove it up to the local charity store and offered these things as a gift.  We lay it down and give it away.  It feels heavy as we carry the boxes of books and label them "free to a good home".  ...in a strange way, the books feel like they have life in them---tied so strongly to a lovely memory of her.  Her childhood in a pile stacked in a box.  ...memories of her snuggled up in bed, reading.

It's a strange journey we walk here on earth.  All of us.  We know, somewhere deep, that this earth is not our home.  We are not long for here.  We know this.  Scripture tells us that walking this sod is only a quick, whispering breath in the scheme of time and Reality.
"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business, and make a profit.” You do not even know what will happen tomorrow! What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)
Our lives are just a mist...  a mist that appears and then vanishes.  

So why does it hurt so much to let these things go?  Why does this pink sweater, this piece of art, that necklace, and these books... why do they tug at my mother's heart and hurt so much.  Why does the box of books feel so very heavy as I lay it down? 

I am pondering and sorting with her, I think.  I am sorting through memories.  Sorting through the truth of these last 18 years...  

I told her today that part of me wants to do it all over again!  She was such a joy to parent.  Like a good, familiar book that you want to snuggle up to read over and over again---I want to 'read' those years just one more time.  

But books are not always for keeping---they mold and gather dust.  The jewelry rusts.  The sweater will fray...  And, the sweater is not her. These things are not full of life.

And, ....and, my girl is not for holding-on-to.   I can't keep her.  She was never mine to begin with...  I must let go.  I must continue to release and surrender.  

Bravely, today I sort and purge with my girl.  I remember and rejoice.  I regret and rehearse.  With courage, I allow the very-now of sadness and grief to come.  I let go and lay down.  I hope and I pray. I trust and I press-in to the One who IS always.  

For, I, too, am launching into a new place...  

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