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Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Place of Refuge

I'm moving.

While all is not completely final, my home should be sold and papers signed on September 15th.

There is a lot running through my head. It has been a wild journey the last few years. So many good things, so many new experiences, so many new challenges, and so much more stress and heartache than I could have imagined. Unfortunately the heartache and challenges are more recent that the good times that were had in this home. But....I have survived and I feel a renewed sense of peace and hope as I venture on to a new chapter in life.

Although this home was the first, and only, marrital home I have had, I have been single here now longer than I was married here. I do have faded memories of those first few years though. All the expectation and planning and working to nest in our own plot of land in the world. The anticipation of how this "fixer-upper" would one day be a jewel in the neighborhood. I recall the first night here. It was great to be living above ground again. We had space! Ben Jr wasn't quite so thrilled. He didn't sleep well that night and it took some effort to not run into his room at every rustling or cry. Luckily he adjusted quickly.

I do recall a sense of sadness as we moved a whole block from our condo into our house. So many memories in that home too. It was where I became a dad. I guess the bittersweet of moving isn't new to me and its reassuring to remember that I never really looked back at that condo after we closed the door behind us for the last time. I keep the memories with me, but not the sadness of leaving. I imagine this move will be the same.

I became a dad for the second time in this home on Finair Street. I built a business here. I learned too much about wiring and remodeling. I chased my boys round and round the kitchen and living room here. I had a family, I lost a marriage. I spent my first night out and divorced in this home. I found my first "domestic partnership" here and I left it here. I built new friendships, and lost an important one I will never get back. I finally was called to a "respectable" position in my church here and I lost my religion here. My life continued on as a "normal" family man here, and my life shattered here. I fought my last battles in the closet in these four walls. I snuck out of these four walls and lied as I searched whether my feelings were "real." I lost the battle, but won the war like I never would have imagined winning.

The single most pivotal point in my life has happened while this red brick has been called my home. But, its time to move on. I fought hard and long to keep this piece of sheetrock mine, but finally found some peace as I am learning to let go. We can't have it all, so only keep what is important. Pride is not one of those things to keep. Authenticity, truth, and integrity are.

I had no intention of writing tonight but my mind has been running non-stop in this bittersweet moment of time as I say go

od-bye to a once cherished dream. As I was singing "This Little Light of Mine" to Tucker and Ben as they drifted off to sleep, my favorite piece of art hung in front of me and brought me peace. I was thinking how I loved the room I finally built for myself. I love the can lighting, I loved the color, I loved where my hopes were as I built it; I was leaving it. This would be one of the last nights I would sing these songs to my boys as they closed their eyes to sleep within the wood and plaster of my home on Finair. "A Place of Refuge (IV)" (left) hung in front of me as I sang and I felt what that meant.

I found this painting as I waited to hear from a friend who had gone home to tell his wife he was leaving. Nervous and excited for him the obvious had to be done to distract me as I awaited his follow-up call: shopping! I fell in love the second I saw it. I kept this one for my self but a few months later ordered and gave "my refuge" to him on his birthday. Aside from the money and my heart, the only worldly thing he never gave back was the copy of this painting I gave him. There will always be a reminder of him as I see this painting hang in my room. I would bet he hangs this in his room too, but it can't represent to him what it does me. I gave him refuge and he gave me lies and a broken heart. I hope one day that will change. As for now, this painting became more mine again tonight as I lay watching my boys slip into nightly dreams of adventure as I sang.

My walls may be another color and my space may be smaller, but that painting will hang with me wherever I go. More importantly what it represents will stick with me wherever I find my head resting. My sons will always be in my heart and I will always be in their's. We will always find a place of refuge where we are together. Songs will still be sung regardless of geography and paint color. We will always be "home" when we are together.

So I sit in a dark living room and see life's things scattered everywhere as I pack and throw away and give away and sell. As I move from a home to an apartment. As I learn to accept the things I cannot change and move forward with the things I can.

Two songs come to mind: