Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Letting Go

A view of Randy's hometown woodlands

Last evening, I was typing while my dear husband dictated his autobiography. (A requirement by the agency before we can become foster parents.) When Randy got to the place in his life where his Dad sold 346 acres of his farm, I cried right along with him as he retold the story:

"...The thing that changed my life the most out of any other event was the day our neighbor came to visit. He owned the adjacent farm and just happened to stop by at the one vulnerable time most perfect for his cause. My Dad, who was once again laid-off, although this was the final time he was laid-off, nonetheless was out of money so we sold off all but four acres, the house and the barn.

I spent the next thirty years angry and hurt in a delusional quest more subliminally driven than thought, but a quest nonetheless to 'buy back' the land I’d loved so dearly..."

Randy was a teen when this life-changing event occurred. No longer would he have the freedom to roam the land, or the space to raise his animals. But it was more than that --he had to let go of a dream that day. I know that in his heart, he would love to own the land that his father once owned.

After listening to my husband talk last night, I understand so much better why he spends hours on his John Deere tractor, digging holes and planting trees on our 14 acre property. I believe that a part of him, whether he would admit to it or not, is trying to recreate that woodland farm of his youth. In his mind he may be trying to go back to the simplier days before he was responsible for caring for a family and earning the money to pay the bills. When life was less complicated. When his biggest concern was perhaps whether he would have a good day selling eggs from his chickens, or if he would be able to put back together whatever small piece of machinery he had chosen to take apart.

We hold on to many things in life and as we get older, I think that the realization of all the "letting go" that we've had to do is more difficult than the actual "letting go" itself. You know that saying, "You don't know what you have until it's gone." May we appreciate and cherish each person, each home, each thing with which the Lord has blessed us. For we never know when someone will sell the farm.

In the days of her affliction and wandering Jerusalem remembers all the treasures that were hers in days of old. When her people fell into enemy hands, there was no one to help her. Her enemies looked at her and laughed at her destruction. - Lamentations 1:7

Post Script: There seems to be a similar theme running today:
Read Sara's Blog.


dawnaj1958 said...

Seems like it's many adults dream to go back to their childhood homes. Maybe it's that loss of innocence or wanting to change the past. Love of the land is something a person never outgrows. I still long to pick raspberries and walk along the creek like I did as a kid. Before life became real.

Birmingham Girl said...

Beautiful...I can relate to Randy's loss of the family land. It was more then acreage, it was almost a birthright to him. Sara expressed her 8 year old loss of her grandparents farm the same way. My husband longs for the hills of West Virginia where he spent his summers with his beloved grandparents. We long for the time and place that is the sweetest memory to us. Lately, I'm longing more and more for my eternal home...that home won't be sold like the family farm!

Sara said...

tell randy he's the brother of my heart. i hope in heaven we have adjoining farms.

Jada's Gigi said...

I think handling the loss is the hardest thing...looking back and seeing so much loss in is hard.....when my 17 yr old got pregnant I cried for days over the loss...of her innocence, yes, but more so of our loss as a family of her childhood...nothing would ever be the same..and though I love my granddaughter insanely :) I still mourn the loss of what could have been...

dawnaj1958 said...

You misspelled bulletin. I love it. I'll be the smart one, you be the cute one and Pat can be the sane one...three musketeers.

Birmingham Girl said...

You may have to look for another sane one. Is there any other openings I could fill, like...goofy one?

Deb said...

picture me...doing the 'shirley temple' curtsy while twirling my finger in my dimples....yep, that's me ...the cute one.

get real.