The 10 moves we made before I was 8 years old formed an insatiable hunger in me to have a real home; a place filled with memories and history; a place that ties me not to an unseen and possibly scary future but to a solid known past. I hunger for a secure home so much that when the economy tanked and the loan for the remodel we'd just finished looked as though it would bankrupt us, I went back to work full-time to try to save the house I'd put so much of my time, energy and emotions into. I want this house to be here for my children now and for their children in years to come. I don't want to do what my Mother had done.
She retired in 1988 after more than a 25-year career as an elementary teacher. She sold the house we built in 1967, the first new house she had ever owned, and moved to Arizona, far away from the Kansas where my dad had abandoned us. She was finally free of Kansas. I was devastated. Never again could I return to the house in which I'd spent 11 years of my life and knew better than the back of my hand. Strangers were cooking meals in our kitchen, watching TV in our living room, taking cover in our basement during tornado warnings. Every inch of that house held tangible remains of countless memories I was never going to be able to share with my children. There was no place called home anymore.
This loss became entangled with the grief of my Mom's death. Then seeded with the estrangement and subsequent death of my Dad, it grew into a roadblock on my path to wherever Jesus and I were headed. Then I happened upon my now-grown next door neighbor through Facebook. She is living in her childhood home with her family and her Mom is living in my childhood home, next door. I can't describe the utter joy and relief I felt at finding out this news. I became instantly free of more than I even realized I was carrying. And I was now ready to leave my childhood home and all the memories of my Mom in the hands of this good neighbor. The roadblock is gone and an overwhelming peace, one that I can't fully describe or understand, has taken its place. Jesus and I can get up from the front lawn where I'd parked my rear end ten years ago and get going to the next place in Kansas where my heart needs healing.
It seems this healing is going to happen in a different place than the home I'm sitting in for the last time. Tomorrow movers show up to take the boxes, furniture & miscellaneous objects we've collected and put it into a much smaller rental house that my son and I will be living in for the next 12 months. The economy wins and I lose my house.
Because I have no control over this event, every moment is an opportunity to look for things to be grateful for. I am also believing that God really does have plans for my good and not my harm. I am ready to move on. To put this house, all that it's meant to my family, all that God did for us here, behind me. I'm ready to squeeze 3,600 sf of stuff into 2,100 sf of rental space and over the next 12 months set myself free from the bonds of material ownership. I will become a Craig's List expert.
And for my friend John "Tigger" McG, who finds my blog depressing, here's to taking my Irish melancholy into an unprecedented future and working my Sanguine muscles until I can take you on. Anytime.