Turns out packing individual items into a box takes infinitely longer than loading those boxes into a truck. Still at the hospital with waiting for his mom to come out of a routine out-patient gall bladder surgery, a small moving crew and a good friend filled my husband’s absence. When the crew reported they needed more to load because they’d loaded everything already in boxes, the boxes I thought contained our entire life’s possessions, my heart sank. Many more important items remained, so I thought. We were supposed to leave the next day, a Tuesday, but something in my heart warned otherwise.
We’ve prided ourselves on being minimalist and shame’s shadow swept across my soul. Were we hoarders in denial? Initially the movers said, “It will be close, but I think we can.” I’m constantly giving things away, surly YOU can fit these things into the truck! Sometimes we think throwing money at things will solve the problem. We think speaking with the store manager will make things better, that voting the right politician will soothe the people and economy when we really need to come to terms with reality.
Moment of Truth
The moment of truth came when the truck reached its fill and the garage was still mostly filled. Oh first world, you’re such a complicated blessing! The movers came to a halt and because my husband was unavailable by phone, text or communication I alone faced hard decisions. When we’d otherwise leave, the unfinished truck shackled us to our hometown. God knows how to keep us where He wants us when we’d otherwise go.
There’s something weighty when making decisions for your family alone.
Decision-making is part of adulthood and I thought I was well versed in the process until this moment. In my early years I lived on my own in a transitional neighborhood where vagrants wandered and the adult store’s neon sign blared at the end of the street. I held my own and gained confidence but all that vanished when I considered, “What would my husband do?”
Still at the hospital, my husband waited with his family for his mom and I was left with decisions that needed immediate decisions. He and I approach things from very different angles. Friends have asked, “How did you end up together?” because we’re both our own person. Though we share faith and values, as people we’re carbon copies. Equally stubborn we hold our own quite well and this sober moment stopped me dead in my tracks: What would he want? That is one facet that ties strong people together; the greater desire to care for the other.
The already delayed move continued to stall-out. As mentioned yesterday, good friends are priceless in times like these, but excellent professionals are equally important. The owner of Brewer Moving and I had a heart-to-heart in the garage. Jared sympathized with our complications and when my mind could no longer recalculate a new moving plan, he fed me options. By my side stood my friend, an anchor and soundboard in the moment of chaos. A new plan was made, but even that plan was up for grabs the next morning.
Goodbyes That Night
After my husband and I talked I assumed we’d leave the next day. Sure, we’d start later in the day, but we needed to stop and sleep overnight anyway. Then we went to say goodbye to his mom, now at home. Still uncomfortable from the hours-before surgery we stopped by for a short visit. We assumed we’d again stop by in the morning to bid a final goodbye to all the grandparents but there unrest was palpable. Something didn’t feel right.
I feel intensely about most things, which is one reason I’ve learned over my lifetime to take my feelings in stride. Those feelings are often misleading, perhaps more so for those who are acutely aware of their feelings and intuitive about those around them.
As my husband and I talked that night I spoke from the perspective of what if I could see my dad again. Post operation is never fun, I know from experience, but his mom didn’t seem well. When my dad died my husband extended the longest length of opportunity to me, an example I wanted to follow. The pressure to leave, to prepare for going back to work nearly smudged my sensitivity, but somehow I managed to speak words I would soon be forced to stand behind: We can stay if we need to. You need to do what you can and what you feel you need to for your family.
Those words were costly. In that moment I didn’t know how much they would cost me monetarily, physically, emotionally…those words could have bankrupted my heart and life and I didn’t even know it.