Moving on means knowing when it’s time for letting go
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 8:01 pm
By: By Chris Menees
It’s not easy letting go.
My husband wishes I could let go of my old ratty gray T-shirt that has sprouted umpteen holes around the collar and become air-conditioned under one armpit.
It’s my “work shirt.” It’s faded and comfy and its appearance usually means the weekend has arrived. Paired with my tattered denim overalls, it’s the perfect ensemble for a Saturday of yard-trimming or weed-pulling.
More than once, my husband has not-so-subtly hinted it’s time to put the gray shirt out to pasture and out of its misery. If it disappears, he’s the prime suspect. I can already see myself, with a crazed look in my eyes, holding a knife to his favorite shirt and threatening, “Hand over the gray shirt or the polo gets it.”
My love for my scruffy gray shirt is kind of like “Peanuts” cartoon character Linus and his beloved blanket.
It’s hard letting go of the familiar.
However, I discovered a couple months ago that I’m not the only one who struggles with letting go.
With two granddaughters quickly becoming young ladies, my husband and I decided it was time to clean out the play room — also known as “the Barbie room” to two little girls who have grown up playing with the diminutive diva doll and her perfect plastic playmates.
I asked each girl — one now 15-going-on-16 and the other 10-going-on-11 — to look through the dozens of dolls, oodles of outfits and pyramids of pink to see if they wanted to save anything. It took days and involved three piles — a considerable “keep” pile for each girl and a strangely small giveaway pile.
Together, we smiled and laughed as we sorted through dolls, recalling hours upon end sitting cross-legged in the floor “playing Barbies.” As the memories piled up, so did the girls’ “keep” boxes now stowed away in the attic — based, of course, on the logic of saving the dolls and accessories for their own daughters to enjoy someday.
With my luck, they’ll probably both have sons.
It’s hard letting go of the past.
And it’s a fact that’s been somberly driven home more than once in the last two years. Fourteen months ago, my mother stood by my dad’s hospital bed and held her beloved’s hand as he drew his last breath; and 22 months ago, my sister-in-law bid farewell to the love of her life when my husband’s brother traded his earthly body for a heavenly one that’s cancer free.
As difficult as it was for both women to say good-bye, neither wanted to see her true love suffer.
It’s hard letting go of someone you love.
Even this week, yet another stark reminder came in the form of a phone call telling me the time had finally come for my grandfather to make the move from his longtime home to assisted living. For him, it’s a reluctant move that feels like the loss of independence and the comforts of home he shared with his soulmate, my late grandmother, for many decades.
It’s hard letting go of the security of home.
Change is inevitable. It’s not easy, but it’s part of life.
It’s about moving on and pressing on, even when it’s hard and even when it hurts.
“ … But I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
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Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 6.8.12