Today is really the last day ‘in’ my house here in Vancouver, Washington. We finish packing today so we can spend one last day at the beach tomorrow. The movers come on Monday.
I am avoiding packing the last few items. I think part of me believes that if I don’t finish packing it won’t be real.
But it is real.
And I’m having a hard time saying good-bye. I walked into the local department store, Fred Meyer’s, and burst into tears thinking it may be the last time I ever shop there. Now, Fred Meyer’s is a great place, but it’s certainly not worth crying about. Everything is just hitting me at once, and rather than push those feelings aside, I’ve been trying to stay present and feel things as I go.
I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest all my life. I was born at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon during the Rose Festival. In 4th grade we moved to Lake Oswego, and in middle school to Portland again, where I graduated from high school. I got married at 20 and moved to Salem, Oregon, where my oldest son was born. When he was a baby we moved to Bend, Oregon, where my middle son was born. Lastly, we moved to Vancouver, Washington, where my youngest son was born and where we have lived for over 20 years. I raised my babies here. I gathered a lovely tribe of girlfriends. I graduated from nursing school and worked as a nurse here for 10 years.
I will miss my peaceful back yard, though. Drinking coffee on the patio as the rising sun peeks over the fence and through the trees. Listening water gently trickling over the cool rocks in the fountain. Being serenaded by the frog chorus in the spring. Resting in the peaceful comfort of the wind whispering through the aspen trees. Embracing the sounds of laughter while celebrating life events – birthdays, anniversaries, graduations. Being lulled to sleep by the murmur of late night conversations around the firepit.
But it’s a good time for change. My husband, Craig and I will celebrate our 31st anniversary in September. Our kids are all on their own – one has a home here in Vancouver, one is working and going to school in Orlando, and one is flying to Mumbai, India to go to film school the same day we are driving to our new home in Louisville, Kentucky.
So this is more than goodbye to a house, or a city, or even the beach and the mountains. This is a sweet goodbye to a stage of life. It’s goodbye to my boys’ childhood. It’s ‘so long’ to the sister friends I have known for over 20 years. It’s leaving behind the comfort of the known in exchange for the unknown.
I am sad and grieving.
I am anxious and nervous.
I am excited for the next adventure.
And I am full of joy and peace.