Sunday, September 1, 2013

An Open Letter to My Friends

Hi folks, Valentina here...we interrupt this regularly scheduled programming to bring some blog posts from Z-Girl. We've told her it's okay to write about her personal experiences of late...we'll be back soon.

Just so you remember how cute I am.

To my friends,
Let me preface this by saying first and foremost thank you to all people in my life with the label of friend. To me, time and  distance don't matter so much as sincerity, and in the vestiges of my youth found carefully tucked away in shoe boxes (letters), in scrapbooks, or simply saved in larger boxes--I discovered thousands of proof points that I am indeed a very fortunate person with loyal friendships-- my definition of love everlasting.

I'll also say, to those inclined to reply to this blog post publicly or privately, with words of "it will all be okay," or "everything will work out," or what I've found to be the least helpful phrase "move on", please don't. I don't need to hear those words. This is the beginning of multiple posts about this life transition I'm facing, and I share it from my heart. The worst thing you can do is pour salt on these emotions with commentary that serves no purpose (in my opinion). Say it to the wind, but don't say it to me.

So many memories have danced through my mind since June, when my dad made the announcement that he bought a new place in Pittsburgh. This meant putting our MD area family home of almost 30 years on the market. This is a paradox, and as some of you may know I continue to be fascinated with the paradox. In my rational, logical mind I know this move from the Ellicott City home is necessary. Situated on an acre of land, three stories and 5 bedrooms, it's just too much for my mom and dad to maintain. It is need of a facelift and some TLC on so many fronts. But the gravity of the entire situation--the move out of the house and the move to Western PA, coupled with my mother's rapidly declining condition--are a lot to take at one time.

For this post, I want to thank all of the people who have offered help. Those who came and hauled furniture and trash to the dump, or stood at the foot of the ladder while I emptied out two attics. Who wrapped fragile items and packed boxes. Maybe instead you are a friend who checks in on me regularly via text to see how I am. Or one who rides the train with me to work, and listens with a thoughtful ear. Or calls me while commuting,  just for a chat. Perhaps you too are going through something similar, so you offer support and acknowledgement. The list goes on. I just want you to know, each of you--I couldn't have made it through these last 6 weeks without your helping hands and open hearts. Thank you. Sincerely.

And then....
I think somewhere in a fantasy, at the point we would prepare to move out of Furrow Avenue, there would be time to strategically go through the countless boxes of letters I archived. All the items my mom saved from our childhood, all the family treasures she so lovingly preserved. The reality though is that quick decisions have to be made: charity pile, trash pile, save pile. I lost a lot of sleep after discarding scads of hand written letters from the 70s and 80s. Even after the piles were sorted, I could reach my hand into the garbage bag and pull out something worth seeing again. Like the postcard my Grandma K wrote to me after we purchased the Yamaha piano:

Dear Laura,
I hope that you will practice the piano every day. Playing piano is one of the nicest things a young lady can do.

I have hours of work to do to make sense of what I now own. To digest what I trashed. To accept all that is happening--beyond the memories, and into the here and now. The tears keep flowing. I know this is normal, and really, not uncommon for many of those who may be reading this post. I ask that you keep in mind, we each experience these life events in our own peculiar way. 

My upcoming posts will present my perspective. As they say--take what you like, leave the rest.