I started packing his stuff this past weekend. First it was just for something to do, something to keep my mind busy. Then as I continued it became necessary. Honestly, it became down right therapeutic! I know now that the man that I married isn't coming back to me and I need to let go of the one he has become.
I started in the kitchen, giving him all of the things there were duplicates of. He'll be happy to know most of it is Pampered Chef. Then I moved to the living room and boxed up all of the games, movies, consoles, etc. I'd have packed up the Blue ray player and surround sound too, had I known what to do with all those wires! But, I figured we might as well enjoy the last week of TV we will have, since he will be taking that with him.
Next I moved to the bedroom closet. That's where I felt sad, I mean, here I was packing away the things we'd amassed over the years. I packed those childhood baubles and keepsakes that he had stuffed in the clear back, I packed the board games he had as a boy, and the game systems he had as a teenager. All of those mementos of time he never got rid of, I'm sure more for sentimental reasons than anything else. He is a sentimental person. One of the things about the real him I will miss.
Today, I will do a little more. He says 'thank you' to me after I tell him what I've accomplished. I want to believe he means it, but I can't, not any more. Truthfully I just want it done. I just want it all complete so that on Friday, when he gets the keys to his new place, he can put the boxes in his cars, his friends' cars, and go. After all, leaving is what he is really good at. He's been doing it repeatedly for months.
But then there are the boxes that aren't tangible, the ones in my head that I have to start packing too. The box that holds the milestones, the one that holds the hurts, the joys, and the struggles. The box that holds all the plans that will never come to fruition and the one that holds the broken dreams. Each of these need packed and stored, deep, deep inside, so far back that I won't be able to dig them out. I need to do this, I need to move on. I need to find healing.
However, to make space for these new boxes I need to pull some out. I need to pull out the box that contains my strength, my self-confidence, my perseverance. I need to open the box that contains my laughter, my belief that there are good people out there, and my trust in others. I need to empty the box that holds my love, faith, and patience. These are the boxes that I will need most over the days, weeks, and months to come.
I need to have the strength to conquer each day; the self-confidence to know his leaving wasn't because of me, but because of him; the perseverance to continue on even when I don't have the will to do so. I need to find how to laugh again; to know that there are good people out there that want to give their goodness away; and to be able to really trust another. I need to remember that love can't be holed up, but that giving it away is the only true way of finding it; that my faith in the Lord will carry me through; and the patience to wait for what is meant for me. I'll find it because God has designed it just for me.
But I also have that small bit of realism, some would call it doubt, in me too. I am human after all. I will have good days and bad days. I will have days, like today, where I woke up refreshed, energized and ready to slay those demons, only to end it in an emotional puddle while on the phone with my dear, precious, friend Anna. She reminds me that this is a process and that it is ok to have emotions, but to also give myself time, real time, to heal and to not chase something else, but to keep my eyes on Jesus.
I think the hardest part is knowing all of this and still being able to manage it all. Why? Because some boxes are boldly labeled: Do Not Stack.