The Last Time
Today while I was sweeping the garage floor, I had a feeling that was identical to a feeling I had in early June of 2015.
“This,” my brain told me, “ is the last time you will be doing this.”
That morning, I was up too early, and the “this” in question was my youngest son’s last day of high school. There was still a graduation to attend, but my days of shepherding children to and from school were over.
My duties as a parent with at least one child in school had spanned twenty-seven years, and suddenly, without any fanfare or notice my days as a “mom with a kid in school,” ended.
Today I did something else for the last time, but unlike my youngest son finishing high school, it wasn’t until this “last time” was upon me that I realized it had arrived.
The moving container of our stuff arrived in New Mexico last Friday. It had taken two weeks for it to make its westward trek, and today the people I hired to help empty the container that housed the remainder of our worldly goods were scheduled to start work at 10:30, so I spent the earlier part of my morning getting ready for their arrival.
I made a pot of coffee. I took my dog to doggy day camp. I moved boxes in the guest room so that it could easily accommodate my husband’s grandfather’s desk along the wall we had determined was best.
The room was ready except for one last item on my mental “to do” list: I needed to sweep it. I went out to the garage to get the perfect broom for the job at hand and was momentarily sidetracked. When I looked up to resume my search for the exact right broom, I saw two people surveying the container. The unpackers had arrived 30 minutes early.
I had no time to think; there was only time to “do,” and there was plenty of doing to be done. There wasn’t a lot of furniture to unpack, but there were a lot of boxes with books and a lot boxes with papers, and if all of it were to fit in the garage with some room leftover so we could sort through it after the unpackers had left, it was essential that things be stacked as neatly and as compactly as possible.
The movers carried box after box of the ephemera of our lives that we have not yet had time to go through, and shortly before the clock ran out on the two hours of their time I had scheduled, they were done, and, I realized rather belatedly, so was I.
I have no plans to move again. Ever.
That doesn’t mean I won’t, but it is the first time in my life that I don’t have another vista on the horizon of my brain. I will probably continue my habit of looking through online real estate listings to find the unexpected afghan or crochet pillow, but I will not, in all likelihood, be looking for another house.
After the people who had unloaded the container left, I stayed in the garage for a few moments contemplating the work still ahead. It was both a sobering and exhilarating, and now I will have to move forward, one box at a time.