The stove and TV are gone.
The eph key on my computer doesn’t work anymore.
I gave away our second dog today. That’s when I almost lost it.
I’ve said “goodbye” to some of the best people I’ve ever met, many of whom I–optimism aside–may never see again in this life, and hadn’t cried for one of them. Part of it is how I’m wired: if you’re right in front of me, I don’t miss you. If I’m still hugging you, you’re right here. Even after we’ve said “goodbye” and I’m driving away, part of me thinks, “You just them like 30 seconds ago.”
Also, I think trying to do this transition in the midst of Nicaraguan’s violent upheaval, I have my emotions packed down tight into my abdomen. I can feel them there. It could get scary when they come up again, but not yet…except when I drove away after telling Sonny what a good dog she is. I don’t know if she believed me. She looked like she had doubts.*
We’re trying to use up everything. We’re trying to limp by on what we have left–you don’t buy more when you can’t take any of it along. Moving out of the country is different than moving across the street or city or nation. Kim and I moved 9 times in our first 4 1/2 years of marriage. I was in seminary and a lot of that was campus housing changes. We loaded up pickup trucks or just carried boxes until it was all movd. But we weren’t deciding among the art we brought with us, kitchen appliances, and keepsakes. What’s replaceable? How much to replace it? Is that cheaper than the space it’s going to take in the suitcase? I have two full suitcases of books left
I realized as I was again going through my clothes to make another cut for tomorrow’s yard sale–our third, second in the barrio–that getting rid of things falls roughly between sense of direction and handwriting, both in order of what I’m good at and my emotional response to them. If you don’t know me, I’ve been lost more times than I care to remember and a sixth grade teacher told me I would not pass college classes because my handwriting was so bad (she failed to foresee the microcomputer). I was also raised by a packrat father and have the same tendencies. So forcing myself to get rid of socks, t-shirts and ankle braces that I may or may not have money to replace kind of twists my guts. You’d think I was raised in the Depression.
On the upside, we ventured out today and make it to the movie theater. That was our second “long” outing in the past month, what used to be a 12-15 minute drive that now takes 25-30 because we have to take a route that goes literally in the opposite direction of where we’re actually trying to reach. But I’m not complaining; I’m grateful we could get there at all. We saw Solo for our last $4.50 movie tickets. Ah, I will miss that. A lot.
Last times, goodbyes, narrowing, and getting by on what’s left.
These aren’t real hardships, but I can feel myself hitting the wall.
Now I’m going to say a few blunt things and then something hopeful.
Most of our gringo friends have already gone. I have mixed feelings about that. I’m not judging; they have to do what they believe God leads them to do, just as we do. But it’s weird.
People are expressing a lot of fear and concern for us. I deeply appreciate the love behind that. But we’re not afraid. We’re not in direct danger. We’re scared for the Nicaraguans who have no choice to leave if it gets worse. We’re concerned for the people who are working for a meal today and there is no work. Our beloved neighbors across the street who have become family to us had us over for dinner tonight, as part of our extended “goodbye.” They are beautiful people who love God deeply.
They’re also so poor we bring plates with us when we come to dinner because they don’t own that many. But this week, a man has been working for them, helping build an interior wall for the house renovation they have going–slow going, to put it mildly–and he is literally working to eat. That’s what I’m afraid for. So yes, pray for our safety and wisdom and discernment–but please pray for people to have enough to eat and for justice and shalom in Nicaragua.
ON that note, I’m going to end with the news I just read: the dialogue between the Ortega government and protesters went well today, for the first time! I’m cautiously hopeful. They are calling for an end to all forms of violence by all sides, independent human rights officials are being invited back in, they will dismantle barricades …and tomorrow they will discuss calling early elections to elect a new president and congress and that Ortega would not be allowed to run for reelection.
Wow. I’ll end on a good note. Pray. Please pray.
Oh, and yes, I am pasting in the “f.” Every single time.
* As it turned out, she had serious doubts and bolted on her new owner. They couldn’t catch her. Kim had to go help them get her back.