There’s a saying that goes like this: “The only thing that stays the same is that nothing ever stays the same.” I’m pretty much the poster child for this saying, as my life reflects more changes over the years than I like to acknowledge. Some changes are good, some changes are not.
Relationships change. Jobs change. Home addresses change. Friendships change. Our bodies change. Finances change. The state of our health changes.
The only thing that doesn’t change is God’s love for us. But the rest is up for grabs, and our lives can change at the drop of a hat.
If you know my family, you know what an awesome bunch of folks I’m blessed to have in my life. We’ve always been very close, and in prior years, spent most weekends together at my grandma’s house. When I was a kid, I didn’t know the difference between aunts and uncles “by marriage” and those born into the family. My Uncle Gene was as much related to me as my Aunt Joyce. I remember being so confused when I first learned that we were not all related in the way that I thought. But, no matter. I still stick to the same feeling – my relatives “by marriage” are just as loved as those whose DNA I share.
As the years went by, and life became more busy and complicated, we didn’t spend as much time together. It seemed with each new generation, we drifted a little further apart, and our time spent together slowly dwindled to holidays, weddings, graduations, or funerals.
One exception to this has been my relationship with my cousin Jim's wife, Mary Kay. She married into the family, and quickly became the life of the party. She’s a hilarious gal with a Milwaukee accent, and as much fun as a barrel of monkeys. Jim passed away ten years ago, and since his passing, Mary Kay and I have become closer than ever. She blames me for her passion for paper crafting and card making. I hosted a Stampin’ Up show years ago, and she and her sister came for moral support. They were not the least bit interested in anything crafty, but came to my show anyway. Stars were born, and they both became addicted to crafting! Since that time, she has amassed the most amazing stash of supplies, tools, and equipment, and Jim helped her create the most fabulous craft room ever. We have spent so many hours together creating cards, sharing secrets, and making plans for our respective futures. There have been numerous no-sleep sleepovers, and I’ve returned to work many a Monday morning running on a serious sleep deficit, but with a heart filled with love and creative satisfaction for all the things we accomplished in the craft room.
But now that is changing. She is moving to Phoenix. Her siblings are scattered across the country now, and there is a sister in Phoenix with health issues, so MK will be moving to be near her. It is the absolutely the right thing to do, and I support her 100%, but my heart is broken, and I can’t stand the thoughts of her no longer being a 45-minute drive away. She “gets” me on so many levels. I love her as much as my other precious cousins. She is my family, and my extra special friend. I’ve spent the past three weekends helping her purge and pack. It was bittersweet, going through and packing up all the craft supplies. So many memories. The house is empty now, and our voices bounce off the bare walls in a sad echo. While I’m so excited for the new chapter of her life, I am selfish, and don’t want her to go. But, you can bet that I’ll be watching the airlines for those special extra-cheap flights to Phoenix, and can’t wait to see her NEW craft room, and witness her new start in life.
Yes, things are constantly changing, and I am reminded to never take for granted that my friends and family will always be close to me, and to make every minute count. DJ, it’s been far too long since we’ve had coffee on the deck. Brew up a fresh pot. I’m coming over!!