Alan and I were in Windsor last weekend. His Dad sold his house. The deal closes at the end of next month. In the meantime, Dad’s moved in with Alan’s brother and sister-in-law. I think we’re all sleeping a little better knowing he’s not alone.
On Sunday, we all met at the house, to turn in our keys, take what we wanted and help him price the rest. Not, I’m sure you can appreciate, the easiest of tasks.
But we pulled together and got it done. None of us really needed much, just one or two things to hold onto. It’s been my experience that one item can hold memories while many items seem to dilute them. So we took a strongbox that came out of Alan’s grandfather’s store. It’s old and rusty and battered. It was jimmied open once. It’s perfect. We also took the carafe that we always used when we had dinner at Dad’s house. He can be assured that he will be toasted many times over with the wine that it will hold in the years to come.
By early afternoon, it was time to go. We put our treasures in the car and said our goodbyes.
And, with the jingle of keys, it was done.
For fifteen years, we’ve been gathering at that house, just a simple house in the suburbs. I met two of my nieces there. We celebrated Thanksgivings and Christmasses. Learned to start dinner without Mum to tell us it was time (a much harder lesson to learn than you might think). So much food and laughter and tears. All done.
On the way home, we stopped in to visit my niece and her husband and see their new house. I know. It’s like I planned the juxtapostion just for this post. They’re just getting started on their journey. Right now it’s just the two of them. Soon there will be three. They’ve had their first Christmas. There will be other celebrations. There will be fights and forgiveness. And time moves on.
In this life, we learn to love and we learn to grieve when we lose those loves. And there is a stage in that grief when everything seems dull. Blunted. I call it the “All of Life is Pointless” phase. I’m sure many of you know it. And what I am learning, slowly, is that this, in fact, is true. There is no point to life, no ultimate goal, no lesson that, once learned, makes it all worthwhile. There are just moments, one after another, after another. We are faced with those moments and asked to decide what to make of them. The hope is that we make them something good. And, moment by moment, hello turns into goodbye.
But if you’re really lucky, you have a store of moments behind you, people you have met, meals you have shared, lessons you maybe have learned. And you relax, knowing that that is all you get and really all you need.
How about you? What kinds of moments have you been having lately?