We are moving this week.
I am a pro at moving. We’ve done it enough.
Staged house to sell.
Separated stuff into piles.
Cleaned out closets.
We’re good at it. Moving is easy. But no matter how often I fill out a change of address form on the post office website, there is one part of moving that I can never master.
I am terrible at saying goodbye.
I feel it lurking behind me as soon as we know for sure we are moving—the Week of Lasts.
The last piano lesson with the teacher who we love.
The last time I meet with my moms’ group that is full of my amazing friends.
The last time I teach the group of kids who I have gotten to know and love while we’ve been here.
The last ballet lesson, last school volunteer shift, and the last dinner party.
I cried this morning as I took my pictures off the wall waiting for our packers to arrive. Our family has grown so much in this house. Our roots spread deep and wide in this town. We got all tangled up with other people’s roots. It is hard to know where we end and our community here begins. Naturally, it hurts a little as we pull our roots out and stretch them further. Parts of our roots are still connected here, but the rest stretch in another direction—towards the future.
Each place we’ve moved, I loved. I have found the most amazing friends. I have thrown myself into the community around me, and I have never been disappointed. But each time we leave, it hurts a little more. Our roots are spread further across more places, strung thin and tight, connecting us to the people we’ve known and loved along the way. Sometimes the connection remains strong, but equal times our connection fades.
There is more, too. More than missing friends, moving marks the inevitable passing of time. My children are growing up. This next house may be the last one my oldest child lives in before she goes out into the world. This house is the only one my youngest child remembers. Moving makes me think of how fast time is passing; how quickly my children are growing; how quickly my hair is turning gray; how quickly my loved ones are aging; how much time I’ve missed with family when we only get to visit once or twice per year.
And I miss them. I miss my family every day. I miss my children and they are still here.
So, to the friends who have invested in a relationship with us, thank you. To my childhood friends who still call me, thank you. And to my family, we are thankful for you and we love you.
I know that choosing to care for us means making room in your heart for a little bit of pain. You know we will leave, but you still choose to love. Some of you might remain close friends. You might visit me. I might visit you. For others, I might just see you on social media. It will be weird to see you have children that I’ve never met when once our lives were so intertwined. I might feel sad when I see our group of friends with their arms around each other at a backyard barbecue, and my family is missing.
But I also feel blessed beyond measure. Because I do know you. I carry a part of your heart close to mine. And I have pieces of my heart spread out all across the world. Wherever I go, there might be a little piece of home waiting for me in the heart of a friend when I get there. And when I do see you again, it will feel like we never separated. You’ll still be the best listener. I’ll still make you laugh. We’ll still be able to talk without running out of things to say.
And it will be like coming home.