Every New Beginning...

...Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

A few years ago Jason and I bought a 1993 Honda Accord from a really sweet couple. Their kids were teenagers and they were ready to finally let go of the oldest, "extra" car that they didn't need. We were excited about our "new" car (I love Hondas, and my first car was an Accord and they have always had a special place in my heart) but the sellers were having a hard time. While they knew selling the car was the right thing for their family the emotion of letting it go was just a bit much for them. First, my understanding is that it was their first brand new car (they gave us the original receipt from the dealer--I wish a top of the line, brand new Accord still came to $16k after taxes!). But it was a lot more than just a material good that they bought.

I was surprised to find that I saved this pic from the Craigslist ad
when we got the Accord. Awesome!
See, they brought their first baby, their 16 year old daughter, home from the hospital in that car. Family trips happened in the Accord. I'm sure the memories in that car with them as a couple and with their children were far too many to ever attempt to count. It was so much more than a means of transportation that got them from place to place, more than even a nice one at that. It was a vehicle, yes, but it was a means to a slice of their life.

I understand that. Sure, my title's a bit cheesy being that the lyrics to Semisonic's Closing Time can be overwrought in pop culture. But, as you probably know, we moved this weekend and it's been great. Our new place is amazing. I knew I was super excited to move. I knew the new place would be every bit as great as it is. I knew I'd love living here, and I do even though I'm barely at the end of day three.

What I didn't expect was the emotion of saying good-bye to our last place. I said it before, but we've moved 5 times in less than 5 years. Never once do I remember being so emotional. I was a bit upset when we left our Ballard place, but only because I had imagined raising a family there and I was frustrated that it was torn out from under us by selfishness and greed. (If you're newish or don't remember, you can read more about that here.) I mourned what could have been, what felt like should have been though I know it was never meant to be.

Sunday was different. It wasn't mourning possibility that hit me, it was the emotion of saying good-bye to our first home as a family. See, as I was about to walk out the front door for the last time I took a look back and saw this:

I just had to take a picture. This empty shell isn't just lacking our stuff; it's devoid of the life with which our family filled it. We once walked through this door with our brand new baby, our firstborn, and said, "Look, Roger, we're home. You live here."

Shoot. Tears are rolling all over again. I'll press on.

It was that memory which caused me to go back in for a moment and step around the corner to my right and take this photo:

Do you remember seeing this room when it looked like this?

[click on photo to go to our amazing photographer's website]
And then later, this room had the life moments captured in these images:

Understandably, it was hard to say good-bye to that apartment. There's a lot about it that no new place, no matter how wonderful or better it is, can ever have. It's where life was lived that can't be relived. Even when we buy our first (and hopefully only!) house someday no matter how "dream home" it is there are things it can never have; among those is that it will never be the place where we brought our first baby home.

But, praise Jesus, we have this home. We'll keep making memories and it's good to embrace a home that better suits our family for making them. It's also good to feel the emotion of saying good-bye to something that was such a good blessing from Jesus. It's ok to even grieve and cry.

I felt bad for a quick moment because how could I feel so sad to walk out of that apartment when we were getting back in the car to drive here, to this incredible blessing of a new home? But Jesus sweetly said, "Daughter, this was your home. You experienced me here. You lived life here. Grieve the previous loss just as much as you joyfully celebrate the next blessing."

So I did. I grieved. I was sad for a little while. But with every unpacked box our new home comes together (I promise an update Friday, no matter how unfinished we are!) a bit more and already new memories are happening. I felt Wiggles kick today for the first time not lying down on my stomach in bed, just randomly while getting something Jason needed off Amazon. One of my good friends is now my neighbor and she dropped by for lunch with her 6 month old son and we enjoyed one another's company. Another dear friend came by just to chat and catch up for a bit and she loved our new place. Jason got home late due to Redemption Groups (a church ministry he leads in) and so I rocked Roger and sang to him before bed for the first time here. We lived life and it was sweet, even a wee bit sweeter for the blessing this larger home brings.

The end of E103 has brought a wonderful new beginning in 8104* and so I rejoice.

*In case you're like, "What? There are 8k+ units in her new place?" then worry not. The units here are numbered more like town homes or even houses, though each building has four separate condos. I'm guessing there are 80 or so units which is much more normal than 8,000!

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