Anna-wow, what can I say? She is my first born. She and I have a relationship that few people get to experience with their children for a variety of reasons. First, when she was 3 we moved four hours away from family so she got me (she got her Dad, too but he was at work all day). Second, when she was 5 we began our homeschool life. And lastly, she is just Anna-those of you who know her know what I mean. There is just something about her that is unique and special. I love all my kids deeply, they are all three unique and special so don't get me wrong; they are all different they all have some similar traits but deep inside, they are very different people.
Yesterday morning Anna was preparing for work when she noticed she had a wet spot in her floor. Not just any wet spot but one that was super squishy. I went in and began to move boxes that had overtaken her room when she moved home in May which she has been struggling to go through in preparation of moving into her condo in Fayetteville in just a few short weeks. I quickly realized this was more than just a spilled bottle of water or heaven forbid another kitty no-no accident this sloshy mess was a full blown L-E-A-K!!
We immediately deduced that it was the pipe to our outdoor faucet. I quickly called our plumber and
he assured me he'd send his guys as soon as they could come. So I began the packing. Oh my, no one prepared me for this. She has lived in this room for eleven years. The memories flooded like the water from the pipe. But I had a task so I continued.
The plumbers came and fixed the leak. The restoration guys came and evaluated the best way to dry the inside of the wall and told me to empty her room as much as possible. When she arrived home, the packing really began.
While Anna packed, I headed upstairs to make that room ready for an unexpected tenant. I prepared a place for her bed and the boxes. When we got her bed up there, she laid on her bed and sobbed. That did it for me and I've been a blubbering mess ever since. You see, we knew she was going to be leaving in August, we had talked about the fact that we would be moving one of her sisters into her room and preparing upstairs as a room she could use when she came for a visit. But those were just words, empty meaningless words...
We headed downstairs to finish dismantling her loft bed, move her bookshelf and couch. We began looking around her room at all the things that make it so uniquely Anna.
The cow skull on the wall and Mardi Gras mask.
The voodoo doll from our trip to New Orleans, her Georgia O'Keefe inspired painting completed with Crystal Featherson, and her bad dream catcher she bought at a neighbors garage sale when she was a little girl to keep the bad dreams away.
Some roses from a forgotten performance-ballet or theatre, there were so many!!
The shelf high on the wall at the head of her bed. Special books, journals, her bible and of course her beloved-Miss Kitty.
Her ceiling fan pull littered with treasures-beads, monkey from softball, bow tie and twirly thing.
The peace symbol shoestring she wore in her tie dye Converse shoes.
The wonderful restoration company, Paul Davis (who I highly recommend) is owned locally by a great guy, Jim Ford. When he came in yesterday, he saw a very frazzled mom, afraid of the unknown, feeling like this was just another bus running over me and he said, "Ma'am, it's just sticks and bricks we'll fix her right up. You're going to be just fine." It is just sticks and bricks and I am going to be just fine but today I'm going to cry a little bit more and feel a little sorry for myself because now Anna's room is gone. Sure she may move her mattress back in there for a few nights but the magic that makes it hers won't ever again be there.
As a Mom whose first is preparing to go, my heart feels like it is exploding. So many things I wish I had done better, so many times I wish I had listened more closely, so many times I wish I had just been...a better mother. As I expressed this to her last night she said, "but mom you still have two more."
"Yes, my dear I'm crazy blessed to have three amazing daughters but you will always be the one (who made me a mom)."
Sweet Anna, go into this word and leave your mark. Remember how deeply, deeply loved you are and continue on confidently knowing how much your parents believe in you and that more prayers are whispered, yelled and cried on your behalf that you can ever imagine. And even if your room isn't yours anymore, know you always have a place in our home and in our hearts.
I love you!