that shocking jolt of pain that courses through your body and numbs your brain. I still remember. Funny how the little things bring it back.
Today I was sitting in line at McDonald's. I had decided to get lunch for my munchkins and surprise them. Sticking in the fresh spring ground was a sign advertising free samples of iced coffee. And I found myself thinking back to barely a few months ago when I would have brought one home for Dad. And I thought about how he would have said 'thanks sister Sarah' and 'you didn't have to' and then he probably would have stuck it in the fridge. Sometimes he drank it, sometimes he didn't. But for a minute there would have been that little spark in his eye. I remember how his white whiskery cheek felt under my lips when I kissed him. I remember the shuffling sound of his walk and the way he rubbed his fingers together when he was thinking.
Tonight my thoughts are on another family with a Grandmother that has cancer. And I'm thinking of Eric's Mom, too. I'm thinking of her wispy bald head during chemo, of the way her feet flew up into the air when she pulled Carly up into the chair with her on our last Sunday together. I'm thinking about the way she used to cock her head and smile when she had a trick up her sleeve to share. I'm thinking of blue eyes that loved me. I'm thinking about how much I miss her. Another family's pain brings this all flooding back. The pain of it wells up in my eyes and slips down my cheeks.
I am thinking that soon we will be closing the Michigan chapter of our lives. I hope, so much, that I'm making the right choice. I hope that I'm not taking Eric and Joshua and Carly away from too many memories. I hope that they will be happy. And I mostly know that they will - but I fear that a part of us will be lost. I'm afraid of leaving my friends, the family of people who are not related to me. We've built a life here, memories here, love here. We've dreamed and hoped. We've prayed. We've lost. There are giant holes in my heart that will never be filled up again. I'm afraid of closing the door on those feelings, afraid they will fade away into the miles and the passing of years.
I'm also excited, craving new adventure and imagining the good days ahead. I'm happy about getting to know my family again, learning how they've changed and becoming friends with my siblings in a new way. I'm thrilled that a new home is waiting for me, one that will belong to us, one that we can change and make our own. I'm hopeful.
I never expected grown up life to feel like this. I never thought my heart would ache and soar at the same time. I didn't realize that emotions intensify, twist and develop.
I am learning that this is only the beginning and sometimes that lesson is so very hard.