He was nervous. I was grieving.
We each had our reasons.
The silence hovered as we drove 30 minutes in traffic to travel less than 10 miles.
When we arrived, he said, “Just let me out here.”
But “here” was in a busy parking lot, so I drove around trying to find the drop-off lane. I couldn’t, so I pulled in a space and got out to walk with him.
Behind him actually. He put some distance between us as he picked up the pace. It was the first day of junior high school after all. No 7th grade boy wants to be seen walking in with his mother.
He didn’t pull away altogether though. He looked over his shoulder to make sure I was keeping up. He wanted me there but he didn’t. He’s grown up but he’s not.
He’s excited about a new beginning and still, a little scared.
It’s funny how opposite experiences pull us taut more often than not.
Like endings and beginnings. How they butt up against each other.
It feels like only five minutes ago, I was blaring a beach playlist through the speakers of my old jeep and cruising through summer with the top down. Taking time away from writing and coaching to hang out and reconnect with my son, who seems to grow an inch in his sleep some nights.
But summer ended on Sunday.
And school began on Monday.
The sun was peeking over the horizon Monday morning when I stepped outside for my quiet time. Our twenty year old cat, Oby, was stretched out eerily still in her favorite spot.
I stood over her a moment, knowing what was true but unwilling to accept it. I stared at her frail body, watching for the rise and fall of her breath. There was none. She was gone.
Her time with us had ended. She’d been with my husband and I since our beginning. I knelt down beside her and cried. Hard.
I found a towel and a box. I placed her gently inside and I talked to both her and Jesus… as I always have in the calm of the morning.
It’s been my daily ritual for years.
Feeding and giving her fresh water. Sitting down with a steaming cup of coffee. Hearing Oby crunch food in the bowl behind me.
She would squeak out a muffled “meow” as she rubbed against the back of my chair. She would offer her head for a simple scratch then lay at my feet to listen to my prayers and the sound of my pen on paper.
You think I’d get used to endings, but somehow they sneak up on me.
I sensed her life was coming to a close for a few weeks now, but her passing still surprised me.
I’m glad endings surprise me though. Because endings push me to be present. I know deep down endings are out there waiting on me, somewhere. And they compel me to pay attention to the moments.
Not just monumental moments, but every day moments. Those are the ones I end up missing the most when they are gone, because those are the ones I have had the most of.
While I mourn an ending, I look forward to this new season full of…
- New work to do.
- New school year.
- New words to write.
- New football season.
- New lessons to learn.
- New challenges to meet.
- New clients to walk with.
Wherever you find yourself today, it’s likely some season or relationship or circumstance is coming to a close.
I’m here to say, “Me too. I understand. And It’s going to be okay.”
I hope you’ll take a moment to appreciate and even celebrate what “was.”
But only briefly before you turn your attention to what is NOW.
Because in your “NOW,” I believe a beautiful beginning is waiting.
I’d love to help you create one.
I’m extending a brand new opportunity in the month of September to help you establish your own morning ritual.
I’ll be sharing-
- Tips on how to create a productive quiet time.
- Stories that will draw you closer to the heart of God.
- Techniques that are guaranteed to improve your relationships.
- Tools that provide practical help in your personal and professional life.
- Insights that will transform the way you see yourself, other people and your Creator.
You’ll receive short, simple emails on week day mornings with these things and more.
It’s our brand new Week-Day Dweller Club.
Here’s to new beginnings!
Also published on Medium.