Monday, September 3, 2012

Saying Good-Bye



This weekend I moved out of the home I have lived in for the past seven years.   

Those walls hold some of the dearest and most painful memories of my adult life. It’s where I lived when one of my sons was born; it’s where I lived when my marriage died.

On my last night there, I crawled into bed early to give my body adequate rest for the big move. It seemed as if I would doze off immediately, but after a few minutes of lying there quietly I suddenly felt wide awake.

I felt a pressing need to sit in the dark and say good-bye. I listened to that need and decided to start right where I was--in my room.

I mentally roamed around the space and let myself connect with the many memories I made there.

Then I got out of bed and glided to a corner where an armchair sat--nestled in front of a large window where the light streams in every morning. I love how the wind blew the curtains up in a good morning dance as I sat there to write every day.
  
In another corner, I leaned against a wall--with my palms and forehead pressed against it--that used to support a makeshift changing table when my school-aged son was an infant. I remembered what it was like to change and dress my baby when his body was small enough to be held with one arm.

As I stood near my bed, I remembered the countless middle-of-the-night feedings that had taken place there--some filled with angst, and most filled with awe. I remembered the times my son laid belly laughing as I played peek-a-boo in a high-pitched sing-song-y voice that made my baby boy's eyes sing with delight. 

The mood changed a bit as I paced the floors on a spot next to my bed where I had sprawled out on the ground late one night and cried tears of anguish and let my heart-blood spill all over the ground. I knelt down and let my fingers caress the spot--knowing that it was a sacred touch point in my journey toward healing. 

I remember, I remember, I remember, I whispered as many times as my heart needed to say it and my ears needed to hear it.

I felt courage and strength as I remembered there that night. I held my open hands out in the darkness and I relished their emptiness. I felt unburdened and free—knowing I was not clinging to the past but was willing to embrace the present. I was aware of my heart and the pulsing rhythm of life, energy, peace and rest that was flowing through it.


 Empty hands and a full heart, I said out loud with a smile.

Then I made my way downstairs. 

I walked softly into the room of my sleeping child. I knelt down next to his bed and gently pressed my hand against his heart and whispered my fierce mama love into his ears. 

I thought of the pencil marks we had made on the wall next to his closet--a cheap alternative to a growth chart--and how we'd excitedly recorded his growth and celebrated every inch he added to his stature.
 
As I tiptoed through the rest of the house, I found I didn't want or need to linger in all of its rooms. Some I simply passed through and mentally assented my good-bye.

My last stop was the family room.  I gazed at all of the furniture in it that would soon grace other homes, and I felt relieved to be leaving it all behind. I looked forward to the next morning when I would take the remaining curtains down so the windows would be left uncovered--letting the light shine in full force. I prayed that the light would never again be covered in that place.

I remembered the blessing of health, joy, hospitality and peace I had written for that home two years ago after my brush with death--a blessing I had typed out, printed and camoflauged in a frame with 3D paper butterflies taped to it. I left that blessing in the air for whoever would live there after me. I prayed they would inhabit the blessing and not resist it.

I went back up to my bedroom and in the middle of the night under the soft glow of a bedside lamp, I wrote this journey down. I felt like I was standing in the middle of my own “promised land” of a restored heart. 

I wrote, “Now I stand on a precipice, face to the wind, and I know it’s not me against The Force anymore. I’m not struggling to survive. I’m living, breathing, hoping, dreaming. I’m ready to say good-bye. I’m ready to move on. My tear-soaked pillow has been replaced with a new one. It’s time. Good Lord, it’s finally time.”

I’m clinging to that clarity and those words tonight, when I feel stripped of the familiar and my heart feels like it might bleed out.  

Empty hands and a full heart. That’s what I’m praying for. 

Empty hands and a full heart.

18 comments:

  1. Oh Angela, Yes, Yes. I know the feeling of having LIVED in a place..a home. A place that housed all your private experiences good and bad and yes there is something sacred in that. So much living... I really do think you left behind Holy ground. I can't help but think what a blessing will be passed onto the next owners.

    Letting go of the old to grab onto the new.

    Much like Peter got out of the safe little boat to walk on the water. Scarry and foriegn and.... Unprecidented, but what an adventure! Bless your heart!

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    1. Thank you, Gabi. Most days it does feel like an adventure, but some days I just don't feel too adventur-ish. That's why I have to record my thoughts when I do... It reminds me of what I am fighting for.

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  2. So beautifully written. I continue to be oh so proud of you. I look forward to seeing what memories will be made in your new home,wherever it is that God leads you. So glad you have a safe place to go while you wait on Him to give you that nudge towards your next home.

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    1. Me, too, my faithful friend. Me too. <3

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  3. Angela, this is so sweet! You are so completely inspirational to me! With great loss comes huge gain, and I know God has embraced your soul..your heart...a he courts you into your next journey and destination. I will be following you through heart and with this amazing blog of hope and courage. You are a beautiful woman, mother, daughter, friend, and lover! Go girl girl!! It is such a time as this! I love you!
    LaHoma

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    1. Oh, LaHoma, so sweet of you to come here and encourage me. I so loved the season when we were comrades in arms and in the trenches together. Thank you for leaving your loving words.

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  4. Your words, Angela, are helping to create beauty from the ashes. Redemption and rectification are at hand. Loss is loss and it requires mourning. Grief is Holy when it is present with what is happening because God is with you. Great compassion is born out of great suffering and our God knows this too. I am praying for you that you will continue to be comforted in the moving on and when you need to collapse and weep and wail that you will do that too! Thank goodness that Beauty is not born of logic for if it were we would have no art, music, theater or joy. You stand with those who suffer and transform into life giving wealth. I stand with you and also cheer you on for "lo, the winter is passed and soon will be the sounds of the cooing of the turledoves!" I love you immensely, Noni

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    1. "Beauty is not born of logic for it is were we would have no art, music, theater or joy." What wise, golden words. I hear the turtledoves 'a cooin'! Much love to you, Noni Mum.

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  5. You've lived more deeply than most people, and so you have also hurt more deeply... but the Love that is bursting through is already turning the next page of your life story. And we can smell and taste the beauty emanating from the ashes, as we touch your heart on this beloved page.

    This is my favorite blog of all, Angela... and I thank you for allowing us a spot in your home, your heart, to share, to ponder, to meditate, to soak in the beauty.

    Where will you be going to next?

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    1. As usual your comment has touched me deeply and makes me appreciate the privilege of being able to share my story with people who have ears to hear it. I am so thankful for you, Susan. <3

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    2. My favorite too...so real and so raw yet so hopeful! I am looking forward to this new chapter...I know it's going to be a good one!

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  6. oh angela. yes. how we have to empty our spaces, our hearts. gah. i feel this, and feel for you in this process. and feel all that is ahead for you. so much love for you in this new chapter. i cannot wait to see what it unlocks. xo

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    1. It really did feel like emptying my heart out. Now I'm filling it back up with things that feed my soul. Thank you for rallying around me. You have been a huge source of encouragement in the short time we've known together. I am so grateful for you.

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  7. I just sobbed my way through your words. You seem to be one giant step ahead of me and I really want to take your hand and follow your bravery. You are a gift to me today...

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    1. XOXO. You can always email me at imagineangie@hotmail.com

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