What to do on the hard days

by

My daughter Katie and I, and a few of her friends and their parents, sit outside on the restaurant patio and eat lunch.

One of the moms asks me about the move and how I’m doing.

I tell her we leave in less than a week, the movers come tomorrow, and things are chaotic as we try to tie up loose ends and get ready. She nods knowingly as I list everything that needs to be done before we board the plane on Monday, and she gives me a great tip about putting cat litter in a pair of nylons in my fridge to soak up moisture when it’s packed.

I’m talking a mile a minute and I can feel the stress… and then this sweet mom leans in and says, “Just remember to give yourself a pass on the hard days. Because they will come, but everything will work out.”

The second she says that, I feel a lump in my throat. I look away as I nod. Because if I don’t, the tears will fall and I’m sure Katie wouldn’t appreciate me crying in front of her friends. I’m excited about the move and the possibilities ahead, but it’s been an emotional week.

This mom has been in my shoes more than once… she moved her family from a different country to Southern California, then to Northern California a few years later. She knows what it’s like to say goodbye to friends and imagine holidays without family and leave all that you love for the unknown.

She knows the angst of moving your teenagers to a new city and praying with every fiber of your being that they will find loving friends and a strong support system… like they have now.

But she also knows what’s on the other side.

She’s seen her family (which is amazing, by the way) grow and draw closer together because of their journey. And you can tell that her faith has only been strengthened by the adventure and the stepping out… and the going.

So as I watch our photo albums getting boxed this week, and as I paint over the growth chart on the wall that has marked my kids’ inches from the toddler to the teen years, and as I walk through each room one last time remembering all the good that’s happened here, I will think about what she said.

If the hard days come, I’ll try to give myself a pass… to feel, to grieve, to rest… to just be.

And then I’ll dust myself off and settle into a new routine and look forward to the journey in front of us, knowing that everything will work out.

Even though leaving is hard, I have a strong sense that great things are ahead and that moving to Idaho is all part of a bigger plan.

And in the middle of all the packing and craziness and laughter and tears, there has been a silver lining: many sweet times spent with family and friends. Here are just a few:

Kelli, Shannon, Jen and me out to dinner.
Kelli, Shannon, me and Jen out to dinner.
photo 2 (5)
The goodbye party our neighbors threw for us!
photo 5
It was so fun to celebrate the 12 years we’ve lived in this court.
Me and Michelle.
Me and Michelle.
We were so blown away at all they did for us!
We were so blown away at all they did for us!
Spending time with my whole family!
Spending time with my family!

If you’re in a situation like me—moving or saying goodbye to people you love—here’s a great idea I got from the sweet gal who cuts my hair: she said her grandma, who lived in another state, would never let her say goodbye when they left each other. She would only let them say, “See you later.”

So that’s my new saying: See you later. :)

12 Comments on What to do on the hard days

  1. Barbie
    June 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm (3 years ago)

    Praying for you my friend, as you enter this new joinery. God goes with you and He will surround you with friends and community. Hugs!

    Reply
    • Genny Heikka
      June 27, 2014 at 8:26 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you sweet friend. I always appreciate your thoughtful notes…

      Reply
  2. Christine Wright
    June 26, 2014 at 8:23 pm (3 years ago)

    What an exciting but sad time…watching with anticipation at all God will do through this next phase!! He has you, friend!

    Reply
    • Genny Heikka
      June 27, 2014 at 8:27 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you Christine! Looking forward to contributing to the beautiful GSD site after I get settled in!

      Reply
  3. Myla
    June 26, 2014 at 8:45 pm (3 years ago)

    Love you honey and see you later! We will miss you all more than you know! Xoxo

    Reply
    • Genny Heikka
      June 27, 2014 at 8:27 am (3 years ago)

      So glad I got to see you yesterday Myla! Will so miss you and your family!

      Reply
  4. Darcie
    June 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm (3 years ago)

    I love that. That’s what my dear grandparents said to us too when they moved away from us from California to Florida. They just would not say goodbye. They would always say after a visit, “This is only see ya later!” Such sweet memories. And the same will be for you!

    Reply
    • Genny Heikka
      June 27, 2014 at 8:29 am (3 years ago)

      That’s right! I remember you telling me that! I love that so much…

      Can’t even tell you how much we will miss you!!!’

      Reply
  5. Mel
    June 27, 2014 at 3:15 am (3 years ago)

    Praying for you, friend. This was me four years ago…from one side of the world to another brand new place. And God has been so amazingly good…I know you’ll see that goodness, too! Sending a hug today.

    Reply
    • Genny Heikka
      June 27, 2014 at 8:30 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you, Mel. It’s comforting to hear from those who have been there… I so appreciate the encouragement!

      Reply
  6. Alecia
    June 27, 2014 at 6:11 am (3 years ago)

    This encouraged me today. Many blessings to you on your move. I’ve made many moves and everything your friend said is so true. It’s still hard but God is always there, and with Him, there will be many blessings and silver linings. Good luck!!

    Reply
    • Genny Heikka
      June 27, 2014 at 8:52 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks for the sweet note, Alecia!

      Reply

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