Almost forty-two years ago we left Japan for Maine. I remember standing in the living room of our government quarters in Bangor, ME with tears running down my face. I was homesick. Not homesick for my hometown, but, lonesome for the familiarity of living in Japan. I wanted to be able to walk down the street and turn down to where my friends lived. To knock on their door and see a familiar face and know I could laugh and cry and be myself. But, I was standing in my living room of my house in Bangor not knowing many people feeling sorry for myself and praying.
At that time I felt like the Lord showed me a scrapbook. As I remember it, I looked at the book and it was filled with people and places and adventures from Japan. I had stopped crying while this went on. As the scrapbook closed, I remember feeling like the Lord told me I could go to that scrapbook any time I wanted, but, I could not live there, it was time for a new adventure.
Maine was a wonderful place to live. It was filled with so many dear people and it’s own adventures and events. I loved living in Maine and when it was time to leave I left a part of my heart there. We were moving to San Diego and I really did not want to go to San Diego, although we felt like we were being sent there for a purpose. We left Maine and arrived in San Diego in late July. As we crossed the mountains from Yuma, AZ into San Diego, I felt a heaviness inside and I knew that we would be there until the Lord moved us.
We were there for almost 27 years. During that time we bought our first home, raised our babies into toddlers, little girls and adults. We had recitals, concerts, proms, first kisses, broken hearts, broken bones and life.
What brought all this to mind was memories that appear on facebook. The past few days the memories have recorded what was going on eleven years ago. As I slowed down tonight, it occurred to me that eleven years ago this week we left San Diego for a new adventure in South Carolina. I remembered as I turned the key in the lock of the front door as we left that it was closing the chapter of our life that I had reluctantly began so many years previous. I got into my car and cried going up the driveway. Memories flooded my mind, and they are still crisp as I write this. Seeing glimpses of my daughters growing up, hearing echoes of conversations. But, eleven years ago this week the big moving van backed down the driveway and in two days filled the truck with a lifetime of memories.
A week later we were in Charleston, SC in an empty house waiting for our things to fit into a new space. And fit, they did. The past eleven years have seen us move two more times, and now we are in our forever home as we call it. We have seen health concerns, cancer diagnosis, broken bones, torn tendons, Little Man born, Little Miss born and memories made.
As I think on my life, I remember the scrapbooks I have had. Those I have filled up with ticket stubs and old love letters, and post cards, and those that are carried in my heart. The ones filled with faces of friends we have loved and lost, friends who have become family, and family. Those heart scrapbooks hold the tears of joy and sadness. Celebrations, births, weddings, funerals. Each event tucked carefully into the recesses of my heart. I pull them out often. On nights like these I dwell on certain pages, people I would like to hug once more, people I would like to have lunch with or a cup of coffee with. Laughter echoes and smiles linger, tears roll down the cheek easily at these times. These volumes of my life that I cherish and hold dear.
Thanks for stopping by, Cathi (DAF)