Monday, May 20, 2013

On Change: Packing Up & Letting Go

Today's Treasure: "The end of a thing does not mean its destruction, but its fulfillment."

We're moving. We've been planning a cross-country road trip for just over a month. We started to do so before our Vancouver trip. The purpose of Vancouver was to give our daughters and their grandmother an adventure together; knowing that my 69 year old mother (a three time cancer survivor) would probably not be able to endure such a trip again. The adventure was also an opportunity to establish and strengthen family ties. With our loved ones (i.e. Team Santa-Iglesia, Team Abrigo, Gelo & Racquel, Aunt Kathy & Tim, Uncle Dennis & Shekoufeh Tousi, Samantha & Michelle, Team Valdez-Ramos, Team Arellano, Team Smith, et al), it turned out to be a most memorable life experience! It further excited us about the prospect of our cross-country adventure.

Our purpose for this summer's ‘six-weeker’ is three-fold: 1) to bond, 2) to learn, and 3) to let go. You see, we moved in to our townhome two years ago. It was a big deal for us. Until then we had spent the last nine years in what was about a 550 sq ft addition to my wife's mom's house. Before then, when Kaia was first born, we lived in a 375 sq ft studio apartment. We're a compact family. We like to believe that our children, while having grown up with little (more their estimate than our own), have done so with a profound appreciation for whatever has been afforded them; be it quality time with loved ones, their imaginations, or gifts from family & friends who have been a blessing to us time and time again. Initially, the townhome represented independence. It has since stood as a reminder to us of everyone that has ever helped us along our way. While it has served as a two-floor 1,314 sq ft living space, it has also become a space of sentimentality; something to which we’ve become attached, and for good reason.

In our time here we've become very close with two other families; one of our youngest daughter's friends from school moved in next door; we were reunited with my biological mother, brothers, and sisters; our eldest had her first slumber party; our second eldest found her voice; my wife took up dance again and has excelled professionally; our youngest performed her first dance solo and we established a lifelong relationship with her 2nd grade teacher; our second eldest's 3rd grade teacher came to visit; family from L.A. moved in a few minutes away, my mother has remained cancer-free; we’ve managed our first tiny herb garden; I’ve discovered what it is to be a stay-at-home father and room parent, and in so doing have gathered a great deal of respect for homemakers, volunteers , and educators; we've entertained several guests; met many people, gotten better acquainted with ourselves, loved, argued, fussed, and fought. Now it ends.

Last night I realized that we have five weeks until our lease is up. I began to pack well in to the morning. When I awoke later that morning, and walked into the living room, it hit me. I hadn't realized how much I had packed last night. I must have been on a mission. Up until then I had been procrastinating, although ‘avoiding’ seems a more honest term. Everything became all too real, and my thoughts began to race as I stared at our belongings amassed in a corner of the living room and the bare walls that were recently warmed by photos and paintings. I felt fear and uncertainty in that moment and could not help but project it. I had clearly voiced what my wife and I both felt, as she stood inanimately looming over the running tap. Tears trailed down her cheek and bemoaned our decision to forego the lease renewal. This only aggravated the general sense of incertitude that I’ve come to realize accompanies leaps of faith. We’re all sad to varying degrees. We’ve discussed this as a family and will continue to do so with the understanding that tomorrow is never promised. As of right now, the consensus is to go, or more specifically to ‘let go’.

Over the next five weeks we will have loosely planned our itinerary, rented a vehicle, stored or relinquished our domestic belongings, ended our lease, second-guessed our decision on more than one occasion, resolved those doubts, cried, and eventually celebrated together. We will bid farewell to that part of the townhome that we actually occupied—the girls never really slept in the master bedroom upstairs. They preferred the living room floor; we all did, which is why we don't own a couch or chairs. We’ll pack up our memories; knowing that we’ve imbued this living space with plenty of love & positivity for its destined tenants. We will brace ourselves for what lies ahead, and come time for journey’s end Life will lead us to where we’re needed, just as insistently and unerringly as it has before. This part of the journey has now been fulfilled. Thank you for your love & support.

Be Love & Loved...


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