Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The stay-ers

Being part of a college community means that we encounter turnover every year.

We get attached to wonderful student babysitters, and then they graduate. We get close to co-workers, so close that we consider many of them our "family" here, and then most of them move away after a few years. Though we still love living in this place, we are one of the few remaining "originals" in our circle of friends, which is why I nicknamed us "the stay-ers" above.

We've had many hard goodbyes in our years here, but one of the hardest occurs today . . .

I met Jody when I was a college sophomore, and though there is an age difference of 20 years between us, we instantly hit it off, and have been close friends ever since. Jody's husband, Dave, was Eric's boss and mentor long before Eric and I were even friends. I used to babysit Dave and Jody's kids; now their daughter babysits mine. =) Dave and Jody played a role when Eric and I started dating, at our engagement, and they even hosted our rehearsal dinner. We've been through a lot together over the past 13 years, so needless to say, it was a blow when they announced that they would be re-locating this summer.

I took a literature class several years ago that focused on the ways that people shape places, and the ways that places shape us. I think one of the things that has shaped us personally is that Eric and I have been the stay-ers. Moving away is obviously full of its own difficulties. But sometimes staying is, too. When I think about these dear friends leaving, and about some of the other dear ones who've already gone, it makes my heart ache. We wish you the best, Dave and Jody, but we will sure miss you around here!

What has been your experience--have you more often been the mover or the stay-er?

The photo shows Jody meeting newborn Natalie!


Mom said...

Farewell to this family who has been so dear to you (and to us as well)!

It occurs to me that in our early years, we were the movers, leaving our extended family behind to move to the cool dry Rocky Mountains. But in recent years, we are the stay-ers as our children have left home and moved far away. Both are hard!!

Thinking of you with love, Mom

Sheila said...

We are the movers. I thought about the difficulties of the stay-ers as I watched tears roll down a friend's face before this last move. I had never really thought about it before then. By my own experience, moving has been easy when I wanted the move, but our last move was one I did not desire, and it was very hard and disheartening to 'start over' again. As someone who generally likes new things and new experiences, I actually think it would be harder for me to be a stay-er.

Wendi said...

When I was in my 20's I was a mover and as I neared 30 I moved home, meet Chuck and would now consider myself a stayer. There are pros and cons to both.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

Growing up, I was the mover. I'm an oil baby, and the oil business moves families pretty frequently.

We're not the ones who stay put. The job market in Dallas has always been strong for my husband's line of business, so here we stay. It's been a bit odd to me to finally be in one place long enough to build relationships. I'm known at my pharmacy, the vet's office, we've been in the same church for 10 years... I'm learning that I like staying put, although moving isn't bad, either.

Leah in Iowa said...

Sometimes it's hard to be the stayer, isn't it? I'm afraid I'll be "stuck" here for the rest of my life. Glad we're not that far from OC - we should try to get together before the summer's over! I'll be thinking of you today.

Oh - loved seeing all your vacation photos. So glad you had another great visit back home!

Kristin said...

My heart breaks with you, Carrie. Good-byes are so hard, I think especially for the stayer because the mover has the excitement and busyness of moving. For those remaining behind, life is as normal but with a big hole left in it. I've definitely been on the stayer side since living in CA. We're also in a transitory area with the college and seminary so closely connected to our church so the heartache is very familiar territory for me. We've talked through this many times before, but know that I'm praying for you through this. And praying for the Lord to kindle a new, local friendship.

I've been trying to finish a book (for a long time now!) but my most recent chapter has been so applicable to my own similar issues and has given me much to think on. Let me share a paragraph: "Abraham was willing to give up the son he loved to the God who loved him more, and God blessed him. Abraham walked away having experienced God in a way few ever do. God wants to know if we're willing to give up what we love to Him who loves us more. He desires for us to open our fists and trust Him with absolutely everything." The author continues to challenge us to identify what is precious to us and let go of our control over the situation as an act of worship to the Lord (as an "Isaac Alter.") This has really challenged my own heart in so many ways and pray it would challenge and encourage you too. Love you, sister!

Carrie said...

I HEAR YOU! We are more frequently the stay-ers. (I only had a brief stint in life when I was the mover.) You're right. It IS hard -- in it's own unique way. It's so hard to say goodbye to someone when you have a heart connection. That will be very difficult. Reminds me that one of the glorious aspects of Heaven is that we ALL get to be stayers - forever. I definitely have a longing for that!

Katie said...

Up until last fall, we were the our neighborhood and in our church. We saw families come and go in both. That all changed last fall, and we became the movers. Such a different experience ~ exciting and scary all at the same time. I'm so grateful in the age that we live, however, that moving isn't what it used to be. My friends and family are on the other end of the click of a mouse or a telephone receiver. I know it's not the same, but it can ease the difficulty. It is so neat how the Lord brings folks into our lives for different reasons and different seasons. They may come and go, but the memory of them and their impact remains!

Blessings to your family and the one that is moving on,

CK N said...

Ah, we are stay-ers too, and we can really relate to how you're feeling right now. We have gotten close with a couple over the last year, and now they are moving because of a job transfer. Sniffle. Thankful to God that he keeps us close in heart to our friends in Christ.