The heARt of Kimmy did not fall off the face of the planet. In fact, I have been so ever present with the reality of so many life changing events that I have not taken the time to share with you in quite a while. I have known that writing and sharing my heart is a great release for the bottle within that holds those emotions so well, for a time, before the pressure builds, the top “POPS!” and its contents pour out at, seemingly all at once. So here is a small “cup” of the outpouring that has occurred since I last shared with you.
My heart and soul are being dumped onto my keyboard, onto your screen, and quite possibly right into your heart. Please handle with care!
I knew when I got in the truck and headed south, it was going to be a bittersweet trip. The journey has been made from many different locations but the destination has always been the same… at least until next time.
A once quaint, sleepy little town where my paternal grandparents, Lewis and Dorothy (Sweetheart), met in the 1930s, married and started their family. The house, since long before I remember has been at 205 E. Leonard St., on the corner of N. Atlantic. It is a home, that for years before I remember, and many years since, was a place for summer vacation, with the family, sometimes just my sister and I, just me a time or two, a home for Christmas, and an occasional off season trip. It is a home, lovingly referred to by family as, “Tara”. It is certainly visible from the street, but what you won’t be able to see from the street is the lifetime of love, laughter, holidays, memories, and even some tears that fill its rooms…if only the walls could talk. I have wandered its rooms, the yard, under the seeming house like cover of the old magnolia in the front yard and yes, even up into the branches of the huge live oak tree that occupies most of the back yard. An oak tree that is at least 400 years old and I imagine its roots are stretched far below and likely as wide as the surface area of the house and beyond. This “home” is my father’s childhood home but I also claim it as my own.
I pulled into the driveway on Sunday, March 11, 2018 knowing full well what I was there for, yet not prepared for what I saw. The “FOR SALE” sign, with its looming, uninvited, and unwelcome presence, took my breath away. One tear, then another ran down my face, not so different from how they run down my face as I sit at my desk sharing this with you. The stark reality of what that sign meant was a punch in my emotional gut and its force caught me off guard.
What I was there for was certainly not what I wanted to do. With my Dad’s oldest brother not in good enough health to join us, my Dad, Mom, my sister, my oldest son and I were there to take on the task of clearing out 80 plus years of my grandparents belongings. Little did I know how daunting, both physically and emotionally, the task would be. We dove head (and heart) first into deciding what we would “save” and what would be left for others to pilfer through at a future open house yard sale, better known as an estate sale. I found myself in a civil war between my heart, wanting to save everything from the average Joe citizen bargain hunter, and my mind, knowing that saving it all was not realistic or feasible. It was three days of reminiscing, smiles, laughter, tears, heartache, heartbreak, family, hard work, mental and emotional exhaustion, and even a few outbursts of frustration and anger. Looking back on it now, I recognize it as all part of the grieving process. Grieving in part for my grandparents (all over again), but mostly for the impending loss of the physical place, their home, “Tara”, that is home to me, my family, and so many years of life.
There was not a room in that house, left untouched. We sorted through countless boxes, bins, baskets, a seeming infinite number of papers and photographs. It was most certainly one of the most difficult things I have ever done. But this precious time, with my own family, spent delving into so many amazing memories, the written and photographed, the history of my grandparents lives together, and probably more importantly, a time of more closure for a time of my life, that will be forever tucked away in the corner of my heart.
Those few days at home in Southport were the longest days, yet somehow, not long enough. The day, the hour, the minute, and the second came all to quickly and it was time for me to head home to my own family. There was no doubt, we had to have some selfies and photographs. And there was no question in my mind or in my heart that those pictures should be taken in front of the only thing on the property older than the house and all of us combined…the old oak tree. I can’t help but share this series of photos. It so well captures the release of emotions that built up as that time of departure drew near.
I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t take the opportunity to share some scripture with you. The Word of God is where I draw strength, help, and hope for my journey and I have a responsibility to share it with you.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace…He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no on can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy while they live. Ecclesiates 3:1-8, 11-12
I have faith in and trust God’s plan…for everything. In my simple human understanding, His bigger picture is outside my scope of visibility and understanding. That is, until He chooses to reveal either or both to me. So I choose to live life’s moments as my God provides.