I made a young, new friend last weekend. I found myself helping clean her house as she moved things from her parent’s home to her new home. Watching her interact with her mama made me think of my relationship Glory. She was so excited to show her mom her new house with hardwood flooring and ancient lighting. She bounced from room to room. “Mom, look at this!” “Don’t you just love that!” “This reminds me of the cabin in the mountains!!” “Look! That looks like the chandelier at grandma’s house!”
The house was built around the same time that our Montclair house was built. Being there made me remember how much I miss it. I miss the halls that are wide and the floors that are beautifully worn. I miss walls that can be painted and ceilings that are high. I miss the quality craftsmanship of a home built before the 70’s housing boom where quality building material and attention to detail became expendable rather than expected. Ann’s parents are divorcing. I saw the awkward in the family as they interacted … tense and careful. All the children are going in different directions. Everybody is moving out at the same time as they sell the 6000 sq ft home that they shared.
And again, I thought of Glory.
The only tears that were shed when we moved from our home of ten years – the only home we owned in her life time – came from her. She was living in Dallas and came home often. In our old house, there was plenty of room for her. She brought her cat, because we had space to spare. She brought friends from time to time. There was always space for one more. I never turned down a visitor.
Things are different now. I moved into a home with two bedrooms; one for me and one for my youngest. Anybody else who sleeps here, has to sleep on the floor. If my kids get married and come from out-of-town for a visit, there will be no place for them. When there are grandchildren, there will be no welcoming spot at Grandma’s house. I have to admit that this is the hardest part of my downsize.
But, it is what I had to do …
and it is what it is.
And Glory knew this would be the case. As we spoke on the phone the day I explained that I had to move, she got still and quiet. I could hear the sniffles. I asked, “Are you okay?” She responded, “It’s just hard … because I’ll be homeless.” I knew exactly what she meant. She was not talking about literally having no place to sleep at night that was hers. She had her own apartment in Dallas … though soon she’d be moving and she wasn’t quite sure WHERE she was going. But, just as much, she was talking about a magnet that I gave her when she moved away. It says, “Home is where your mom is.”
As Ann unpacked her belongings, she plopped a basket on the kitchen counter that had the cutest little owl kitchen towel and oven mitt. She mentioned that she loved owls as she hung the towel over the oven door bar and then scurried away to keep unloading.
So, when I was out shopping over the weekend for a gift for a friend, I came across this precious mug.
I threw it in my basket for Ann.
Growing up is hard work. Divorce is devastating. Moving is exhausting.
If I can spend a few dollars to bring a ray of sunshine into the life of a friend
who is going through a lot,
I want to do it.
I’ll wash and spiff this mug,
(I just had to try it out!!)
add a little cheerful tag
and leave it on her doorstep tomorrow when I am in town.