moving, day 3

Posted: May 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

Today was a day of tying up loose ends.  I went over to my apartment, where I hauled out my plants, everything from the fridge, and the few other odd assorted things I had inadvertently left behind (the most important of which was:  EVERYTHING IN MY SILVERWARE DRAWER! OOPS!)

With the help of a friend, I cleaned that sucker from top to bottom.  Everything is scrubbed and fresh and smells clean (I assume it smells clean – I can’t smell, but the stuff I used, I recall always leaves distinct clean smells).  I left the apartment move-in ready. 

Doing that made me think again how God has grown me up, and how the more He heals and changes me, the more naturally things like integrity and thoughtfulness come to me. 

While I have left the last few places I’ve lived in pretty good condition, the truth is in my younger years I was a rental nightmare.  We’d move in somewhere filthy, and I’d bitch and moan about what terrible people had been there before us as I scrubbed and painted and tried to start out fresh.  But then by the time we moved out, I’d be tired of it all,and overwhelmed with the move, and I’d just walk away from messes.  More than once, we lost part or even all of our deposit because I just didn’t deal with the hard work that needed to be done. 

The time that plagues me the most, as I remember it (and today I definitely remembered it again) was when I moved out of a house I had been renting from my parents (actually, it shouldn’t count as “renting,” because more often than not I was failing to come up with rent, which was I’m sure part of why my parents moved me out of that house and into their home.)  It was a gigantic, massive Victorian wonder and we had been there for several years.  There was dirt upon dirt.  While I had a huge yard sale to get rid of a lot of stuff, and hauled a ton of stuff to goodwill, and carried another ton of stuff out to the curb for the garbage man, the truth is I also left A LOT of stuff still in the house.  I just walked away from it, knowing MY PARENTS would have to clean up after me.  I don’t recall thinking clearly about it – I was really not in a very good zone at that point in my life.  I don’t recall coherently thinking, “I can’t deal with this”…but my actions said that was what was going on. 

My parents were so very gracious with me.  I don’t remember them ever saying so much as a cross word to me about it, and I KNOW I left them really an inexcusable mess. 

Now…note that I said they moved me into their home.  Me, and my 2 kids.  This was because I was between jobs.  We invaded 2 of their bedrooms for the summer.  Then my daughter went off to college.  And I found a job and my son and I moved into a very tiny apartment.

And I left a mess AGAIN.  I know I did.  I know my mom had to clean up after me AGAIN, when she had just done so on a larger scale just a few months earlier.  Again, I don’t recall having a coherent, planned thought of leaving it.  I just recall being swept up in the work of Caleb and I hauling everything to the new place, and starting my new job, and jumping into the next part of life.  And again, I don’t recall so much as a cross word or a sideways look from my parents about it.

What a jerk I was.  There is no sugar-coating it.  No nice way to look back and say, “I was doing the best I could.”  No.  I wasn’t.  I was failing to deal with A LOT in my life at that time, and remembering how casually I dropped part of my load on my parents that year just kind of makes me ill. 

The times I have moved since then, I have tried really hard not to leave a mess.  Each time I do so, I am thinking about what a jerk I was to my exceedingly loving and gracious parents, and the cleaning I am doing is sort of “dedicated to” them.  I can’t go back and do over what I did to them.  But each time I move, I can leave the place like I wish I had left my parents’ rental house, and then my parents’ home. 

Mom (I know my mom reads this), if you could have seen the place today, it would have made you smile.  Thank you again for loving me that way. 

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