Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cleaning House

It’s the first of September; I just can’t believe that August just disappeared. The good thing is that it’s time for college football and I love to watch the games as fall goes on. It’s still way too hot, and it sure doesn’t seem like fall is approaching, but it is. School is about to start and things are going to get real busy. Although I really don’t believe that they will be that much busier. It’s just that things will be different. Here we are in September, still driving back and forth from Newnan. Having two places is not very much fun. I keep leaving what I need at the wrong place. I now have a razor and toothpaste in both places, but making sure that I have the right clothes is another matter entirely.

But before we even think about consolidating into one place there are things to do around here; one in particular that I have been putting off for over a year and a half. Well that’s not quite true. It’s moving all of Julia’s clothes out of the basement. I did have the girls and some friends go through them and take what they wanted but there were still so many left. It was easier for a long time just not to think about them. But for the past few months, I knew that they needed to be dealt with. But still, I really didn’t want to do it. I was afraid of the memories they would bring up, and although I love all the good memories, this just seemed too close.

I have tomorrow off, and I knew that I would get off early today. Sheryl is in Franklin Tennessee visiting friends, so it was the perfect time. Then the American Kidney Fund called and said that there would be a truck on my street tomorrow. I was being set up by Papa. I knew that it was time, and today was the day. Even then, I found a way to procrastinate for an hour when I got home, but finally I gathered up my resolve and went down into the deep dark recesses of the basement to gather up all her clothes and put them into bags. I then brought them all outside onto the porch.

It really wasn’t as hard as I had thought it would be. I thought of her an lot, and as I saw certain things, I remembered her wearing them. I saw the Georgia Tech sweater that I got her in 1990 when we went to the bowl game in Orlando and watched Tech beat Nebraska and win the National championship. I thought for a second about keeping that one, but realistically decided against it. I saw a lot of her things that she wore often, but it was all OK. It was doing this that I realized that it was the right time to do it. Papa has a way of working things out. He has given me Sheryl now, and even though these things brought back memories, they weren’t painful. They were just good memories. It’s like He has edited out the pain of the loss, and just left all the good times and fun parts.

God really is so good that He can take our broken hearts and repair them, even when we don’t think that He can. He can do this when we press into Him. If we blame Him, we build walls to protect ourselves and He can’t get in to help heal us. We wind up keeping out the One who can heal. Anyway, I am so thankful that I let Him in, no that He has free reign in my heart. He has healed me and given me love again. Not to replace what I lost, but to add to what I have. I am just blessed beyond measure. So, as I set here tonight there are bags and bags of clothes out on the front porch. They represent part of the old, a very rich and treasured part. Tomorrow they will be gone, because we constantly have to make way for the new.

There is still so much more to do in the basement and it will take much more than a day to get it done, but at least the process has begun. We can move forward now as we begin the time consuming task of preparing to move. I need to downsize some more. Julia and I started the process five years ago. Sheryl and I will have to build on that now. Life is interesting and full of wonderful surprises. It’s hard to know where the next one will pop up.

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