Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The difference of one year

One of the features of iPhoto is the "Last 12 Months" viewing option that loops your photos in a year. So when I look at pictures and finish the last "last roll," iPhoto automatically loops around to one year ago. It's a grim reminder of what one year ago felt like.

One year ago today, it was the first warm day of Spring in Briarcliff Manor, New York, and our moving truck arrived. Meg played on the front lawn, blissfully picking the first dandelions under the dogwood tree until our friends, Jeff and Holly, came to take her to their house (while the guys and I loaded trucks). I will never forget the feel of the first sun of spring on my shoulders and the first fuzzy hostas beginning to poke from under the cold earth. The Lilly of the Valley was blooming, I remember them clearly, and the dogwood tree mercifully waited until one week after we left to bloom, but on this day the buds were stretched to almost bursting--threatening me. I actually thanked God for holding it off so I didn't have to see.

This marked one of the most difficult months of my life--moving back to California but not even knowing where to tell the truck to meet us. I remember this day forcing myself to just focus on one year from now--you will have a home, Meg will have a school and friends and a life and no matter what our little family would be together and we would be okay.

And now I think about this day and still have a lump in my throat. I miss my 100-year-old house. I miss the Benjamin Moore Bunny Gray paint and the sun-room and my vegetable garden and that divine dogwood tree. I miss our neighborhood and our friends, the playground two blocks away, and the huge pine tree outside my bedroom window--I could lie in bed and watch the snow silently sprinkle the branches. I never really planned to leave, at least not so soon.

. . . and yet.

 One year later I am happy and thankful. I am thankful for our home with functioning air conditioning and heating and multiple bathrooms, for my husband's job and for Meg's school and for our health. I am thankful for the sun that warms my shoulders more often now and for the herbs, veggies and oranges that I can grow year round, and for camellias and gardenias. I'm thankful for our extended families who now live so close they sometimes drop by to say hello after their tennis games.

I never wish to forget the heartbreak of leaving. After all--"it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. "
And yet. 

I am okay. 

PS:  I am not, in any sense, happy about the earthquakes--let's just get that straight.


  1. This was lovely...I like how you just assessed your year like that (and I like how iphoto pushed you to do it too!)

  2. Very nice. If you can find the silver lining in a situation, something to be happy about even when you're sad, in the end, I think, you'll lead a much more satisfying life. Bonus points if you pass that attitude along to your children.