Monday, April 21, 2014

Grieving...I need a 'how to manual'

My daughter enjoying beautiful flowers at a local trail
Grieving. I am no good at it. I have no idea how to process these strange emotions. I would say grief has been limited in my life.  My grandfather, an uncle, a family friend, a couple more relatives I was never very close to round out my experience with grief.  However, I am not grieving a person at this point in my life. The concept might sound silly to most and some might even say it is outrageous to call what I am going through grieving. It is not my intention to insult someone who may have actually lost a loved one.

Through this whole moving process we have purged a lot of items.  The less we have to move the better. The other day I went into our basement to bring up more boxes of stuff we had stored down there. Holiday decorations, genealogy items, our daughter's toys- no big deal.  Tucked away high on a shelf I had about three plastic tubs full of baby clothes and toys. Seems everyone lately is telling me to get rid of it all.  Sounds easy, right? Take the boxes, throw them in the car, drive them to Goodwill, hand them over with a smile to the man who has seen way too much of me lately, drive away. Simple. No, not really.

I sifted through the boxes to pull out any little items I wanted as keepsakes. I promised myself only a few items as I pulled everything out. However, my pile of keepsakes got larger and the tears gained momentum. This was not going well.  I grabbed everything and threw it all back into the tubs, slammed the lids on and stormed upstairs.  I couldn't do it.  It is silly, I know.  We could always buy new baby clothes and toys.  What if we had another and it was a boy? We would need new stuff anyway.  That is not the point. Purging all the baby items is an admission. An admission that the family I had dreamed I would have was probably not going to happen. I had to face the truth that it is time to let go.  Seven years is a long time to pray that we would be able to once again open all those boxes and joyfully put all those clothes into the nursery. Then I consider how our daughter would be the luckiest girl in the world to have ALL the attention of mom and dad.

Photo by Jennifer Bergman
After a few days I sucked it up, put on my big girl panties and went in the basement again. I put on blinders. I lugged those boxes upstairs, out the door and to my car.  I drove like a zombie to Goodwill. As I pulled up I took a deep breath, did put on that smile and handed the boxes over to the man that has seen too much of me.  I pretended something else was in those boxes...anything. Maybe pots and pans, clothes, or books that someone else could enjoy.

I have realized something else.  Something I know I have heard before.  Grieving is a process. I think I am somewhere in the middle.  I saw two little babies recently born in our family yesterday at Easter. No, I did not hold them.  However, I was able to go up to them and take a peek...with a smile. I walked away without a single tear welling up in my eyes.  That, my friends, is progress.  Seems so incredibly small to most people, but to me it is a huge step toward the end of grieving and the beginning of acceptance of what God has intended for my life. I have to live by the motto, "Things happen for a reason".  This phrase has been proven time and time again in my life.

This move can now provide a new start.  A fresh prospective on what life will hold for just the three of us. Here's to new adventures!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Uh oh...THAT day has arrived!

The day has arrived. Two years in the making. The moment when my husband and I looked at each other and said, "Oh S%#*!! This is real now!".  Our house in pending---almost two years to the day that we originally put it on the market.  When you sit around for two years waiting for a sale you get complacent. You start to think it will never happen.  Then the offer comes in and your head starts going in a million different directions. Just on the surface: How in the hell are we going to move all this stuff? Who can help us? Can we take the dogs with us to our temporary housing?  Will our daughter adjust to a new school? What will it be like to make new friends again? Will we even find temporary housing? Will the closing go through? UGH! So much to think about but yet we are doing what is best for our family.

Word of advice: Don't move unless absolutely necessary.  It sucks. The little details are the most stressing of all.  Switching banks, finding new doctors, getting our daughter into new activities, joining a new church. Enough to throw anyone into a panic attack.  I have been through this many, many times before with our many moves but it never gets easier.

You would think we would be used to this by now.  This will be our fifth home in our 12 year marriage. We have never been in one home longer than 4 years.  Let's just say we never feel settled. We have made a promise that our next home (after temporary housing) will be our last. I don't think anyone can ever get used to moving.

This life transition is bittersweet.  We have met some very incredible people in our little town. Over the years this small town has felt too small at times.  Everyone knowing everyone else's business. Obvious cliques exist like high school days.  Above all that, however, is a safe, small town full of pride.  I can go for a walk anywhere in this town and tell you who lives in what house. That comfortable, safe feeling is what I will miss most of all.

I know the best part is yet to come though. My husband will go from a 1 hour 20 minute commute one way to 15 minutes one way. We will also shave off over an hour drive to get to my parents.

The next couple of months will be crazy but well worth it in the end.  Life has been quite an adventure since my husband and I got married and the loops and turns keep coming.  Who wants a boring, straight-laced life anyway?!