There has been a hint of fall in the air in Baltimore since I got back from my trip. This has been a blessing from God because the trip was a difficult one for me. Georgia will always be home because I'm pretty sure I won't live long enough to be in the same place another 47 years and it's where time and life experiences have been the fertile soil in which my roots grew deep and strong.
The weather didn't cooperate and only two innings were played of the two softball games I had hoped to watch Matthew coach. His girlfriend, Lindsay, Joey, and I ended up taking cover in a storage shed for a while to see if the first game would continue, but the lightning won.
I did get to have dinner with a few friends that were able to gather at the last minute. That's always a very stressful thing for me because there are so many I would love to see and there's never enough time to do so. I'm not sure how to remedy that - maybe have all of you take turns coming to Baltimore?? :)
I also got the storage unit reduced to a smaller one which cut our monthly fee in half. It's actually impressive that the remainder of our lives can fit in a 5x10 room with the exception of some tools and Christmas decorations that Ellis has graciously let us store with some of his stuff in Baltimore. As my kids continue to get settled, we'll be able to disperse the rest of it and be fairly mobile to have been married 33 years.
Tiffany and Nikki decided to drive up from Orlando for the weekend and it was good to see them. We got to visit with Hannah and her sweet baby, Grant, on Friday afternoon. It's so fun to see all these babies being born to the "babies" I helped raise!
Our post-reunion committee meeting went well on Saturday night and I think the consensus of the group is that while you can never go back to what you were, life can be enriched by those who have known you for the majority of your existence. Realistically, our paths won't cross often, but that whole experience reminded me of the gift that both old and new friends really are.
That brings me to the difficult part of my time home. I've learned about myself that when people enter my life and become a part of my heart, I don't like to let them go. Life growth and circumstances are usually what move people in and out of our lives, and while difficult somtimes, at least it's a normal process. But when someone makes a choice that's contrary to a previous life course, the unnatural absence is what my heart fights against. Suddenly life isn't what it was supposed to be and those affected are left trying to figure out how to keep going with the shattered pieces of what once was. A "new normal" is the professional term used to describe the moving forward of life and while an accurate description, it's much easier to read than to live. I keep thinking there's progress being made only to find that my heart betrays me when I'm not expecting it.
Thus, my visit ended; flying out of stormy skies in the world that's familiar to me and landing in a world with blue skies and a gentle breeze beckoning me to discover what lies ahead. The word "goodbye" literally means, "Go with God" and that is now what my heart whispers - that those I have held in my heart who have chosen poorly will truly go with God so that someday when their knees bow before the One who holds them accountable, it will be of their own choosing.