At the Red Mug.
By Bruce Stambaugh
I sat in my favorite café sipping a delicious cup of coffee. I often met my older brother there or enjoyed a yummy breakfast with my wife. Today I was alone, musing upon what had recently transpired, and what was yet to come.
As customers came and went, my mind raced over the events of the last days and of the days ahead. I had no regrets and no dissatisfaction. I was at peace with the world.
My friend Susan helped me arrive at that conclusion. She had just stepped to the counter to order and didn’t notice me until she was about to leave.
We exchanged fond greetings, and when Susan asked how the moving preparations were progressing, I told her of two emotional partings I had recently experienced.
Only an hour earlier I had bid farewell to one of my most precious possessions. I sold my beloved 1970 Chevrolet Malibu Sport Coupe, the car I had helped a dear friend purchase brand new at a dealership in Millersburg, Ohio.
I loved that car, and so did its original owner, the late Helen Youngs. She took good care of it, too. I tried to do the same once she sold it to me in the summer of 1988.
Now, after all of those years, someone else owned the car. A man from out of the area bought it for his wife. He told me he liked the car’s story as much as the car itself. He purchased the Chevy for his wife without ever having driven it. She had owned the exact model as a young woman.
I witnessed her joyous reaction when I drove my Chevy into her garage. I knew then and there Helen’s car was in good hands and that I could lovingly let go. I wish you could have seen her.
I needed to sell my automotive treasure. No one in the family wanted it, and I had no place to store it in Virginia. Plus, I didn’t drive it enough to justify keeping it.
Celebrating a birthday.
Just as it was time to sell the Chevy, it’s also time to move on in our lives. We want to experience all we can with our busy grandkids. Concerts, ball games, shuttling them to appointments are all part of our Virginia agenda.
Only the day before we came to grips with the emotion of moving. Our daughter and her family had returned for one last visit before we joined them in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
Our granddaughter helped hold the handkerchief quilt my wife made.
All went well until it was time to leave. Before our daughter jumped into the family van, she broke down and so did we. Tears freely flowed. Tears have incredible power. As they trickle down from eyes to cheeks and are wiped away, tears cleanse us, help us to heal, force us to accept the situation just as it is.
Our love affair with our home, our community, our good friends was coming to an end.
As I watched the van drive away, I was happy that this last visit for Carrie’s family had been a memorable one. I hoped and prayed it had brought them a semblance of closure.
As my friend Susan had reminded me, we are much better to live in the present. No sense longing for the way things were or fearing what may be ahead in life.
I am most happy for the past. I joyfully anticipate whatever the future holds for us. We need to embrace the present with gusto, delight, and jubilation. I have my friend Susan to thank for that reminder.
Home for 38 years.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2017