It was empty. A shell of what it was for the last little more than 11 years. It was quiet and it felt weird to see it vacant. Today, we finished the very last details of moving out of our house. We accomplished this in just twelve days. Not by ourselves, but with the help of some amazing people who love and care for us.
This evening, I placed the keys on the countertop in the kitchen and sat alone, crossed legged on the living room floor and thought about what had happened in this house over the last few years. So many pivotal and important events happened to my family here. Madison grew up here. We brought Q home for the first time here. Yes, it is just a house, mere wood and plaster, but to me that house represents so much. It represents a portion of my life of which I will look back in great fondness.
It represents people we have come to know and love. For me, this is the hardest part. I’m excited for our Montana Dream, but I am not ready to let go of good people. People who served us and loved us. There are far too many to name. I had the opportunity to interact with so many of these wonderful people and families as I served in my church’s youth organizations and watched many young men grow up, mature and turn into husbands and fathers. I served side by side in church and civic capacities with so many. I had the great fortune to provide service to many who passed through hellish trials and watched with admiration as they bore such burdens with grace and strength. Though distance will come between us, I have learned that in life true friendship endures – it is eternal – and I am often surprised at how even after so many years apart, a reunion with a good friend seems so familiar and as if time has not even passed.
This house represents family. One wonderful thing about living here has been that I’ve had two brothers who have lived just a block away, one of which is kind enough to house us for a while. My Madison, basically an only child given the age difference between her and Q, has had the amazing and irreplaceable experience to play with and get to know her cousins. I’ve also had all of my other siblings and parents and in-laws within and hour or so of us. How fun that has been to be able to spend time together, borrow tools, and help each other out. I will miss that more than they know.
We are so exhausted. We have worked non-stop for 12 straight days. My emotions are on the surface as I think about all who have made an imprint on our lives. I thank God for them. We will never forget this chapter of our life and will forever remember our 11 plus years living in our little community on the Lake. Thanks to so many who loved us and cared for us. We look forward to the many reunions to come!