In my last year at college, I learned a phrase in Italian which I can actually repeat in a public forum (unlike the ones I learned from my family — thanks, Grandma!).
The phrase is “Partire e un po di morire.” Leaving is dying a little.
It certainly is. The times in my life I’ve been most depressed have been when I’ve faced leaving a place I love. The tighter the community, the deeper the anticipatory grief before going.
We’ve lived in Angeltown for twelve years, in this house for ten. We’ve been with our church for four years. Many of my friends are here. My daughter is buried here.
But now we won’t be living here.
We’re making the move for chronological reasons: my Patient Husband commutes 55 miles in each direction between his job and Angeltown. Because he loves his job, we had to make a choice, and we’re choosing to move so we can have more of him around.
Because although we’re losing our community here, the primary community is our family. We need more of my Patient Husband in our lives. He needs us more in his own. Podcasts are nice, but they’re not as nice as cuddling on the sofa reading to Kiddos. Driving is okay, but it’s better to drive the kids to karate than to drive alone at five o’clock in the morning.
And so we move. We pack everything we own into boxes. We crate three cats. We pack two cars. We pay moving guys a big gob of money to put everything on a truck. We sleep on the floor for a night, eat whatever fast food we can find for a couple of days, spend three hours “homeless” between closings, and then all of us — seven angels, four Kiddos, three cats, one Patient Husband and one beleaguered writer — move into a new place and start trying to forge a community there instead.
We’ll be starting over, but at least we’ll be together.