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photo: © archideaphoto -

photo: © archideaphoto –

I was reading Diedra Riggs and thinking recently about legacy…and I packed, threw out and saved things.

We are moving to a smaller place. Yes, I know that isn’t new information.  I’ve over-informed you on that one!

Our original plan was to downsize and move here last year. We were sorting, selling and tossing before we put the house on the market, but thought we would have at least 6 weeks to get out.

As it turned out, the house sold to the first family who looked at it. . . for the asking price! But they were pre-approved and wanted to move in, in 4 weeks!  Yes, it was a good problem given the fact that we had visions of being there long into the Summer or Fall.  But after I came to Alabama to find a place to live, we had 3 weeks left to get moved. We tried. We just didn’t make the deadline in terms of getting downsized.

After a year of stability, we’re lightening our load and downsizing for real!

We have been living in a house this year that is the same square footage as our old one but with one less bedroom and no family room. Now we will move to an apartment with less square feet, slightly smaller rooms and closets, NO garage and a much smaller refrigerator/freezer.

To show what a wimp I am, there is no automatic ice maker. Do you know how often we will run out of ice? Oh my!

Anyway, I’m going through my craft supplies. I fantasize about using them with grandchildren despite the fact that I haven’t used them lately. How many should I save? I have great memories of doing crafts with my grandmother. To reinvest in them would take a bundle of money.

I’m thinking about it.  Thinking.  I’ll go to another room.

Of course, my kids just want me to throw everything out or find some way to get rid of it all. I don’t blame them. That’s what will happen to it after I’m gone for sure!  

Lest you think they are insensitive, they are way more sensitive than I was at their age!  I couldn’t understand why my parents/grandparents hung onto so much junk.  Now it’s me!

So I continue the process.

God’s plan for us was better than ours

I’ll tell you something right now. There are advantages to doing it incrementally. Last year, it was difficult saying good-bye to the house and its memories. It wasn’t as difficult as it was when we left to go to Hanna City in 2004, but it was still difficult.

Maybe GOD knew that we weren’t up to as many good-byes as we were trying to say at the time. I’m not as weary now. I’m settled in a church community. I have some friends here. I have family here. The move is going to be just a few miles away this time.  It won’t be nearly as complicated…I hope, no, I’m sure!

It will be closer to the family. Closer to church and the other activities we do. It will be more convenient in many ways. But we won’t have much room to store anything.  I have to ask myself, “What do we need to store things for?  We aren’t facing new stages really that we need to store supplies for.”   When we get sick, we can get the supplies we need at the time.  Hopefully, we will die fast.  Just telling you my personal preference.  I may sound morbid, but I’m really not.

It won’t be as easy getting to the car in the rain.  We’ll survive.

Now, cleaning house will be easy and fast. We will have enough room to still have people over to visit. We will still have a guest room and sleep sofa. And we are fortunate to have each other…SO fortunate that way. Our health is manageably good. Our blessings are many.

So, what will our legacy be?

Now, on to the legacy. I think it won’t be a house full of stuff for our kids to clean out. Yes, they’ll still wonder why we kept this or that item. They will look at it and wonder. But for some reason we may not even understand, it had a place in our memory that we just didn’t want to give up.

One of our daughters who has moved a lot internationally and lost many things dear to her in one of the moves, said, “Don’t be intimidated by what others tell you regarding the things you choose to save. They are your things. It is your life. Embrace the choices you make and move on.”

I think she understands some of the struggle. I hate for others to think I’m foolish, but sometimes I am, so I’ll just have to be real about it.  I think she understands that sometimes the good-byes seem to pile up and you just feel the need to hang onto things that symbolize some of the things you feel you are losing. . .some of the things that show you your life was worthwhile.  It’s easy to only remember the failures, the times of missed opportunities.

Not, it isn’t logical. No, it doesn’t make sense.  But let’s face it.  When all is said and done, very little of what we do is thoroughly logical.

And how do we handle our grief and pain in the middle of all the good-byes?

We are emotional beings as well as logical.  At some point, we aren’t always in touch with the depth of our feelings while we are in the middle of huge, earthquakey changes that are happening in our lives.

Somehow, we expect for our lives to just move on routinely.  We don’t expect for any grief or sorrow to be involved.  Well, I’m here to tell you. . . it is.  The total of all the good-byes adds up.

If you don’t deal with all those good-byes, whether the permanent kind (death, life-style, loss of fullfilling jobs even if a person has retired, etc.) or the temporary kind (moving further from friends, family, co-workers, etc.) it will catch up with you!

No matter how logical the change, no matter how good, what the improvement or how much better it is logically, the losses must be dealt with or the numbness will overwhelm you!

I’m just getting it.  The chickens are coming home to roost!  I’m so thankful for the grace of GOD!  But that doesn’t stop my feeling pain and sadness along the way.

I think I’ll stop chastising myself.  This is a normal response to what is happening.  Maybe I’m expecting myself to be a robot instead of a human being.  That’s not a good thing for anyone. . . including me!

How about you?

Are there changes in your life that are threatening to overcome you?

Fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

How are these for comforting words from our heavenly Father?