WARNING: Sadness, tears and possible gnashing of teeth will occur in this blog...but please read anyway...because there is also a great awkward story and who doesn't need a good laugh in the midst of crying?
Today I am going to meet my sister, Jenny, for coffee and a pedicure.
We have lived within 30 miles of each other for the last 14 years.
And in 3 weeks...she and her family will be moving to Colorado.
My sisters are my dearest friends.
My confidantes. My sounding boards. My people.
I like my people close. Within shouting distance.
I told my sister, Erica, on the phone,
"Everyone leaves me. First, you. Now, Jenny."
There was a pause on the other end.
"Sue...I left over 20 years ago."
It may have been two decades ago.
But no one likes to be left.
When Erica left, I couldn't even say good-bye.
I was newly dating Scott at the time.
While Van and Erica were packing up the moving truck and heading out,
I drove the hour from Santa Cruz to Scott's home in San Mateo.
He held me in the car while I sobbed.
I was crying so hard....that I passed gas.
It was one of the darker, more horrifying moments of my life.
That made me cry harder.
Because of the humiliation.
Luckily, Scott was not put off by it. He just hugged me and told me he loved me anyway.
He does say, however, that this was the gateway moment that allowed gas into our relationship.
Up until this time, he had let himself be tied up in knots until the end of our dates.
My slip up allowed him to let go...literally. He felt free.
I am still super sad about that.
Back to my sister, Jenny.
We have lived these last 14 years out with no regrets.
We have gotten together whenever we could.
We have watched each others kids grow up.
We have been there on each other's darkest of days and most joy filled moments.
That is all I can say...lest, I put my head down on my computer and sob like a baby.
So for the last two months, I have known the day of Jenny's departure is coming.
I have been doing a lot of preemptive crying.
I think it the unraveling of my heart.
The loosening of the bond that ties me to Jenny to
so that I can send her off into her new adventure with joy.
With encouragement. With the knowledge that I am so proud of her,
and I love her and she is one of my most favorite people in the world no matter what.
Even if she is moving far...far....far..........far away.
I know that Jesus is leading the way in the Moody family move.
I want to be able to shout out,
"Go with God!" instead of "Stay with me!" when they drive away.
My sorrow comes from knowing that we will never be the same.
From knowing that we will be living complete lives far apart.
It is a kind of good grief. I have had the goodness of our closeness.
That part of our relationship is ending. Hence, the copious amounts of tears.
I will miss her. With my whole heart.
My grief over Jenny moving is added to other tears in my life at the moment.
This year, shifting from writer to educator,
working from home part-time to working outside the home full-time,
moving from our family home of 11 years to the tiny house then to our new house,
there has been a sense of loss that I have been wrestling with.
All good things taking place.
And yet...I have cried. Almost every day. For the last 8 months.
I actually didn't know I could cry that much.
I am not even wanting to cry. Tears well up in my eyes without any warning.
It is making me feel crazy.
I think my tears are so at the ready because I feel like I have lost myself in so many different ways.
All the change has upended me and left me raw...with heart hanging out...open and vulnerable.
Jenny's leaving just makes it all the more apparent.
I texted my friends a few weeks ago, since Jenny's imminent move has heightened the crying jags.
I said, "Please pray that I can stop crying. It is out of control. Make it stop."
Then my good friend, Jane, texted me back and in all of her wisdom said to me,
"Sue! You are having to let go of who you are to embrace who you are becoming.
Be gentle with yourself."
Be gentle. I am better at berating myself. Telling myself to pull it together.
Irritated that I can't control my emotions, for crying out loud. (Literally).
Sorrow is a heavy, deep thing.
But love....love is the thing that buoys us up.
The love of family and friends and mostly...Jesus.
Weeping may endure for the night. (or for 8 months)
But joy comes in the morning.
That is the promise that comes from the One who loves us most of all.
We don't always understand why life takes the twists and turns that it does.
But His love, makes a way for us to look past the present sorrow, and know that joy
will come again...some time...hopefully, soon.
Jesus is close to the brokenhearted. To those of us who are experiencing loss
in a million different ways. He is pulling us into His arms, filling us with strength,
inviting us to look beyond what we are feeling and recognize who He is.
The Healer. The Provider. The Deliverer. The Giver of all Good Things.
The Lifter of Our Heads.
He is love.
And His love will lift us up.
He is going to walk with Jenny and her family when they move into the unknown.
He is placing a steady arm around my shoulders and reminding me one more time,
"I will never leave you or forsake you."
He wants to do the same for you. Wherever you are at right now. Whatever state your heart is in.
That is the truth of who He is.
Love upon love upon love.
And that is where the joy comes in.