Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Year Later

This morning I woke up and laid there on the air mattress in Cindy Lynn’s office, wondering if I could get back to sleep.  Within a few minutes I could tell that my brain, while still sleepy, was revving up instead of quieting down.  I started thinking about the things I needed to do to be ready to fly back to Oregon at lunch time…the things I needed to remember to gather from Cindy Lynn’s house.  At some point during my mental list making a thought edged it’s way into my consciousness, sliding in sideways so that it was there for me to see before I was even aware of it.

One year ago yesterday we left Durham.  One year ago I loaded up the car, hugged Alisyn goodbye and drove away.  Drove away from the place I’d lived the longest and people I’d loved so much, drove away from my warm ocean, (drove towards the worlds greatest vacation,) drove towards a new life that I was not very happy about.

Has it been a whole year?  Some moments I wonder how can it have been that long?  Some moments it feels like a lifetime already. 

Having experienced great loss before I knew in my mind (though perhaps not my heart) that time does, to some degree, heal all wounds.  Thankfully time is healing this one as well.  There are still moments of deep sadness, still heartbreak over things that happened or didn’t happen or will never again happen.  And I have  suspicion that every winter I will miss that blue Carolina sky.  But there are also moments of peace, moments of enjoyment, moments of coming-to-terms-with-my-house, and lots of happiness. 

If I could go back in time I’d tell that year ago me, “It’s gonna hurt like hell.  But you will survive, and one day you’ll even be happy again.  But you will never, ever, ever forget North Carolina.” 


[Crying at table in the Salt Lake airport while waiting for my flight & writing this.  Perhaps not my finest moment??]


  1. I've been thinking a lot about transplant shock this week, for some reason. You know, when you dig up a plant and plant it somewhere else and it just sits there for a while, frozen, not growing. Transplant shock. I think we experience transplant shock too, especially when moving SO far from home, especially when home was home for so long, and so loved.

    I imagine a plant (I speak to plants, what can I say) with its eyes squeezed shut, its poor severed roots stinging, just holding itself together and saying, "I will not grow here. I will not love this place. It is not my home. I can not love it. The dirt's wrong, there's more (or less) sunlight, I'm not with my friends."

    The gardener has to bring water every day because the plant just can't get it from the soil. There's no connection. There's a question of whether the plant will live or die. But often the gardener has put the plant there because it'll thrive better there, or she needs the plant there to help out other plants or be prettier there or closer to the house than it was. So she moves the plant and nurses it through transplant shock, and hopes, and brings water.

    I've been in my new home and town for 2.5 years now. I wanted to hate it. I was in an insane amount of transplant shock. But just this Sunday, I looked up and saw the sun shining through the window of our funny little church, on the people who know me a little now, and I could feel those stinging, severed roots beginning to reach out to get what they need from this soil, in this place. A sister I know now was playing a beautiful piece on the piano, and I thought, holy moly, there is beauty here. There is beauty for me here. And I felt, for the first time, I could grow here.

    These are things that I knew, in my mind, but until I had gone all the way through transplant shock, I couldn't really feel. I find it really tough to talk about this with anybody, so I'm grateful for your willingness to share your experience. Thank you.

  2. Yeah, thanks for making me really cry. And at work too!!! When I read this, even though I know that good is coming. It breaks my heart all the way through.

  3. Has it really been a year? It seems longer and shorter than that all at the same time. I'm glad you're adjusting and glad you'll never forget. :) Come back for a visit sometime, won't you?!

  4. Wow. I love this. And I hate it, too. I love you so much, and I hate that you have to feel so much pain.