Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The First of Many Lasts

Yesterday morning I said goodbye to my sister, her husband, their youngest two children, and most of my furniture, clothing and shoes. As I watched them drive away, I realized that this goodbye was the first of many to come over the next six weeks. And as I replayed it in my mind, the reason for my sister’s sadness finally hit me—it was also the last time I would see her for an indefinite amount of time. I’ve got a one-way ticket out of here without any idea of when I’ll be returning. This goodbye was the first of many lasts, which left me feeling a bit undone.

I reviewed the photos taken during their stay. There wasn’t a single one of my sister and me together or of me with my niece or nephew. And it rained throughout their entire visit. This place has been my home for nearly 4 years and I didn’t get to show them why. Then, I found myself assessing the skeletal remains of my closet, upset that I hadn’t given her this shirt or that dress. I looked around my room and saw a wallet I should have given her, oh, and I meant to ask her to hold onto that T-shirt for safekeeping. It has sentimental value, but now it’s too late. What will I do with that T-shirt now!

Feeling deflated, I realized that I just needed to stop. I needed to stop with these small regrets. I’m sure that someone else might appreciate a new wallet. I needed to stop feeling bad about things that are out of my control. I consider myself a person with some talents, but sun dancing is not one of them. I needed to stop and sit and think. I needed to figure out how to shake this feeling of inevitable failure and impending regret. I decided to make a list.

My list is of the things that I know I want to experience for one last time. They are made up of the things that I love most or have some of my fondest memories of doing in VT. I figure that with sufficient planning I’ll be able to escape BTV with limited emotional baggage. In no particular order:

  1. Muddy's Chocolate Espresso Shake
  2. KK's Rise and Shiner with Bacon
  3. Hike Mt. Mansfield with lots of yummy food
  4. Run the entire bike path
  5. Individual runs with J, B, Em and E.
  6. A day on the lake with friends and cocktails on A's boat
  7. Grace Potter concert on the Waterfront
  8. Bangkok Bistro's Calamari and Massaman Tofu
  9. Maura's Fabulous Salad and the Planet Burger
  10. A leisurely day on Church Street of cocktails, lunch and shopping w/ EKB
  11. A picnic with Friends at Leddy Park
  12. Time with out-of-state friends and family
  13. A final reading with D
  14. Dinner and a movie at Q-Monroe's with J, Oli and Ella (This is not a hint, I swear!)