My thoughts are swirling around in my head a hundered miles an hour. Remembering. Thoughts of my Mama. Thoughts of when I was a little girl. Thoughts of growing up in my parents house.
Because, you see, today everything changed. Again. Oh yes, everything also changed on August 9, 2010 for us, when my Mama went home to be with Jesus. We still haven't 'recovered' from that change. I hope we never do.
But today, another change happened. A happier change, thankfully. But still a change. My Dad got married--to a beautiful lady. She was a friend of the family since we were younger, but we had lost contact in recent years. So there will be the process of 'getting to know you' all over again. But I do remember that she is kind, loving, and funny. And I do know that I would much rather my Dad be with her than spend his days lonely and miserable. So we are happy.
But the sad thing is, she lives the entire way across the country. As in.....an entire plane ride across the country.
We packed up my Dad's house these past couple of weeks. The last place where we were all a family together...Shaun, Karen, Jaime, Wray and Kristin. The last place where I saw my Mama alive and well. The last place where I forgot to give her a hug that last night.....
It was painful. The packing of boxes. Sorting through Mom's clothes...her books....her dishes. Looking through all of the tubs she had packed for us in the basement with all of our 'important' papers in them.....letters I had written to her when I was 8, birthday cards from Grandparents, second grade report cards, that type of thing.
All of the memories. The memories of happy winter evenings, Mom's soup on the table. Mom humming to the radio in the kitchen as she'd clean up dinner. Christmas Caroling nights, when all our friends would come over, and we'd gather together afterwards and drink hot cocoa and eat way too much good food. Coming home from college on the week-ends and not wanting to go back on Monday mornings. Those awesome nights when Joel and I were courting and we'd sit at my parent's table in the evenings while he beat me at a game of chess (yeah, things haven't changed much) Sitting at the table with Mom, picking out flowers for my wedding, desigining my wedding dress. Bringing my new-born babies out for the first time to Grandma's house--because, where else do you take your new-born babies for the first time if it's not Grandma's house? Leaving my kids there for the evening when Joel and I would go on a date.
And as I packed boxes, the tears flowed. It felt as if I was packing up my Mama. As if I was packing up my childhood, and all the happy memories. As if a chapter of my life had completely closed. A chapter I wasn't ready to close until I was much, much, much older.
I couldn't help but think....."No more family dinners around this table....No more stopping by to see everybody.....No more happy sleep-overs for my children at Grandma's house.....
But, as much as the chapter may be closed, the book is not. My life goes on, and I will make more memories with my own children. And I will look back on my own childhood with happy thoughts, and with smiles. The house may not be there anymore.....my family no longer together under one roof....my Dad getting a new start in a far-off place.....But the memories are still there. They always will be.