Turn Out The Lights [on Two Artists Tuesday]

There are first-times and there are last-times. I occurred to me, as we sat on the back porch of the house where I grew up, watching the sun go down, that this night would be a last-time. In the morning we would drive away and never again come back to this place.

We’d driven to Colorado to move my mom into an independent living community. The move was complete. The house nearly empty. My sister was coming to finish the clean-out and clean-up and then the house would be sold.

Kerri is much more “thready” than I am. She leads with her heart and feels deeply the story-threads that extend back through time. With the sun beneath the horizon, the light of the house beckoning, we talked of what it must feel like for my mom to leave this house after 54 years. We talked of the turtle that buried itself in the window well each fall and would claw its way back into the sunlight each spring. Climbing the crab apple tree when it, too, was young. Camping in the back yard in a musty green canvas tent. Riding bikes around the driveway in mock stock car race fashion. The Irish mail. Volleyball, basketball, and cranking ice cream on hot summer days. The small rituals that largely go unnoticed until the last-times, the experiences that fill life full-to-bursting.

These rich, amazing moments that we call ordinary, that happen with ease every single day, that pass unnoticed or unappreciated until the-last-time.

She asked me what I felt and my answer surprised me. “Relieved,” I said. “Just relieved.”

Tired, we went into the house, closed the back door, and turned out the lights. Last time.

read Kerri’s blog post about THE LAST TIME

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