What do these items have in common?
- A plastic egg filled with baby teeth which was a young child’s investment program based on the assumption that the tooth mouse’s payments might rise. (Our family preferred mythical mice to fantasy fairies.)
- A garish bright red and green vest that I sewed when I was thirteen. I was immensely proud that I perfectly lined up the seams of the plaid fabric.
- A letter to one of our daughters, pledging undying friendship from someone whose name she cannot place.
- Hundreds of books that we hope others will enjoy as much as we did.
Twenty-two years ago, we moved into our present house, doubling our living space. The house had room for homeschooling seven children, for many guests and for our business. We gained wonderful neighbors, fantastic friendships, and a region full of incredible natural beauty. For the past two decades, either my husband or I have expressed gratitude for where we live on almost a daily basis.
The house is full of memories: children sliding down the stairs on futons, Passover tables with friends and family, boxes of diapers being replaced seemingly overnight by boxes of high school and college mementos. It has sad memories as well: returning home from my mother-in-law’s and my mother’s funerals, bidding farewell to two babies whose faces we never saw and the normal, though often painful, realities of life.
We have now bid goodbye to the above-mentioned baby teeth, vest, letter, books and home. We are greeting a new phase in our lives, choosing to downsize and move to be near children and grandchildren. We have gotten rid of tons of ‘stuff’ leaving lots of memories and warm relationships that will continue.
Through the wonder of the Internet, we can keep in touch with you from almost anywhere in the world. We are filled with excitement for this new stage of life and eagerly anticipating meeting new friends. I won’t pretend there isn’t a pang at hearing an echo ring in our newly empty, beloved home as we close the door, but we are grateful to God for allowing us to move and build a future together.
Exciting times tend to cluster together. Not only are we in the midst of a grand move, but my husband’s new book was released this week! I’m proud of him and eager for you to benefit from it.
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6 thoughts on “Mixed Emotions”
Just for fun: Stuff is the junk we keep and junk is the stuff we get rid of.
Blessings on you and the Rabbi as you bravely face a big change. It is so much better to do this when you choose to than when someone else chooses to do it for you.
I very much appreciate the good wishes. This afternoon one of our grandsons bicycled over (to our still empty apartment) and hung out. What better reason to move?
My thoughts and prayers will be with you and Rabbi Lapin as you welcome this new transition of home. It is not easy to leave
a home built with love, but I believe your adult children will keep those memories alive as they are retold when you gather
together! I enjoy your musings, so please don’t stop. Also enjoyed meeting you and Rabbi in Salt Lake last July! Keep up
the wonderful work and I wish you well in your new location!
Then I wish you both strength and equanimity to get everything squared away, just as you and the Rabbi have given me strength to address many of life’s challenges. I hope in your new life and location that the Rabbi will still be awash with boats so that he will not pine away… Beracha!
James, I actually had written a Musing in advance so as not to miss a week, but I didn’t even have the time to post it! We are awash in 1001 things that need to be done for a major move, but have seen many blessings as this comes together. Our truck should be arriving tonight.
Missed your Musing last week! If none came to be posted, now we know why. Your Musing about releasing the past and its dearly beloved artifacts is bittersweet and once again your weekly revelation eerily parallels something going on in my own life! Do you have a crystal ball? The truth is that we came into this world naked, and thence we must depart naked, leaving everything behind. Everything. Certain events in this life help prepare us for this. As the little birds leave the nest, the large family house becomes much too big and empty and hard to maintain. The house grows bigger at the very time our world begins to contract and our powers to maintain order diminish. Better to downsize, to choose the warmth and the blessings of family than to cling to locations and to cleave to shreds of the past, however sweet and alluring.
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