Packing Day

Today I get to go through everything I own and decide what to pack, what to toss. There’s something depressing about this process. I suppose it’s triggering to stumble across an old journal or letters from my aunt who died last spring. Things like that start me on a journey I’d just as soon fore-go. But it must be done, triggers be damned. I suspect this will be quite an emotional journey for me, as I tend to save everything under the sun. Somewhere I have a couple of notes written from an old boyfriend back in the eighties. I don’t know why I keep them, but I do, and seeing his handwriting will bring up all the bad stuff we went through. Still, when I consider throwing out these kinds of mementos it just doesn’t seem right. Having something tangible from my past to hold in my hand lets me know I really was alive back then. Sometimes my past is a big blur, so I need these reminders even when they hurt.

I’ve mixed emotions about tomorrow’s move. My son and daughter inlaw are very glad that I’m moving in with them, and that’s good to know. I’m not being thrust upon them because of financial difficulties or failing health. They have a choice in the matter, and chose to invite me, more than once, to make my home with them. But of course to say yes to one thing is to say no to something else. I’m saying goodbye to living with those I’ve made my home with for nearly 4 years. Will I regret this decision? Will I feel too isolated, living much farther away from the rest of the family? Will the bond I share with my 4 year old granddaughter be weakened because I’m no longer aware of what goes on in her daily life?

Three years ago I  stopped watching my grandson, who was also 4 at the time. I’d taken care of him since he was a few months old, and the separation hurt. We spent hours watching Blues Clues, playing video games, coloring, and having a good time in general. I didn’t think I could handle the pain of suddenly not being with him 5 days a week. But I did. I got through it, some unknown inner strength rising to the occasion. He spends the night about once a month, and I see him at other times as well. When we’re together we fall back into our old ways; laughing at our silly little jokes, each attempting to “out love” the other—as in, “I love you bigger than this house,” and his comeback of, “I love you bigger than all the houses in the entire universe, Nana!”

I’m going to be okay. Just because I don’t know the details of each day or moment that awaits me (and who has such knowledge anyhow?) doesn’t mean that I am not up to the challenge. Lately I’ve been in a rut, needing to be challenged. Well, you know what they say about being careful what you wish for! So here I am about to embark on another leg of my journey through life. Have I got everything I need? Is my knapsack equipped with those things that every sojourner through this world must have on hand?

During my grade school years I belonged to an organization of our church called Pathfinders. I can’t help but laugh at the irony of being called a Pathfinder when I not only had no sense of direction, I had no compass of the soul as well. Or did I? This bears some deep thought, which I have no time for now. But I do recall that a good Girl Scout (yes, I was one of those as well) is always prepared. Well, then. No one can prepare for every possible set-back or emergency they may encounter on their journey through life. But some supplies are basic, and I do believe I have those. Hold on a sec, let me check. Let’s see . . .  a sense of humor? Check. A heart which does not turn bitter when storm winds prevail? Check. A desire to undergo the next phase of my healing, even when it hurts like the dickens? Check. The willingness to encourage and strengthen my fellow travelers, even though it slow me down? Check. A tenacity which may wither a bit in rigorous heat or blasting cold, but will not break? Check.

Well, okay then. Looks like I’m good to go. Anyone care to join me?


(I’m off on the next leg of my big adventure!)

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