I was driving down the gravel driveway this evening and an older woman was picking up trash along our side of the road. And for an instant, I thought it was Ma. My grandmother. But Ma has been in a nursing home for years, so that is impossible. I see her often [ish] and I am grateful she is alive. But I missed her deeply in that moment. Because she used to work hard to keep the yard clean and it was a normal sight for her to be picking up trash or mowing the yard.
This weekend, at the yard sale, some family friends drove up. They had collected things from their grandparents’ house for us to sell. My other grandmother, Kath, was good friends with this grandmother before Kath died in 1999. As I opened the trunk and pulled out a box, the scent invaded my nose and I missed Kath terribly in that moment. It smelled just like her. Grandmotherly.
I think this is just how I work. The way my clock ticks. I don’t miss constantly, though I think it is fair to say that we all have miss-able [I made that up] things in our lives every day. But I miss in moments.
I won’t miss teaching everyday. I can promise you that. Some days, dealing with parents more than kids honestly, I think, “This is EXACTLY why it’s time for me to get out.”
But when a student emails me and says he misses me…….
or when school supplies fill every store in August……
or when my teacher friends send emails about hilarious happenings……
or worse, when I quit understanding the jokes……
or when I wonder the location of that certain book and my first response is “on my bookshelf at school” even though that doesn’t exist anymore…….
or when a hug from a student or a joke told in class would really make everything seem better….
or when it sounds like someone says, “Ms. Downs”…….
or when I don’t have anyone to go with me to get ice cream on Friday afternoons……
those are the moments.
I think moving is going to produce a lot of those moments. Those instances when I just need to walk with Haley and Molly, when I just want to sit on the couch with my parents, when I want to drive a different route and know how to get home, when something smells like Marietta Pizza Company, when I just want to be at a church where people know me, really know me.
They won’t be constant, or so I pray. But they will be present.
Dear life I know today,
I will miss you in moments.