My brothers, sister in law, and niece came to visit us this past week. They left this morning and as their rental car drove out of view I felt it again. That dull ache.
When we moved everything was a whirlwind. Having a baby, selling a house, hurriedly saying goodbye to everyone, driving cross country, arriving, moving in, starting our school year... albeit late. Everything was rushed.
Because everything happened so fast some goodbyes were rushed or never said. A couple days after arriving it all hit me like a ton of bricks. The grief was so immense - overwhelming. There were days where I just cried. Days where I didn't even wear makeup (unheard of for me) because I knew I'd just have smears of mascara down my cheeks the whole day. I busied myself with finding a church, homeschool programs, and making our house a home, but missing my friends and family was always in my mind and I couldn't go more than a couple hours without thoughts of a loved one.
Things have slowed down to a more predictable pace in the past couple months. And as time has gone by the waves of missing people have become less tumultuous and stormy, but they've never died away. It's an even rhythm of missing and wishing to see people I love. It's always there.
And so, as they drive away and I stand there in my driveway the feeling creeps over me again. It's time to go back to do the doing and the new normal we've found here. Mind over matter.
It's gorgeous here. We're meeting amazing people. We're experiencing awesome things. I don't want to take away from any of that.
Is there any way to say both things at the same time? I'm meeting awesome people, but I also miss my old friends. This house is INCREDIBLE, so was my old house. I'm so glad I get to go do things with my family that we've never done before, I also really miss family dinners and easy weekends.
Does saying one thing diminish the significance of the other? I guess I struggle with that. If I say I miss things it feels in some way as if I'm saying I don't like what's here. If I miss a friend it takes away from the new friendships I'm developing. See, I don't believe that's the case.
I think these truths coexist.
If a spouse dies and you remarry I can only imagine you never stop missing the first spouse - despite that a deep love will grow with the new person.
Love grows. It takes time, but love grows. No matter how many children we've added to our family our love has expanded with each. There has always been space. With each passing year my love grows deeper for each child.
I suppose that this is the case for things and places too. The longer you live somewhere the more you grow to love it. The longer you have something the more significant it is to you.
My hope is that my love for this new normal will continue to blossom and grow. My roots were deep in Michigan and it is hard to pull up deep roots without causing pain. I'm still feeling the ache. I'm still missing all the old.