It didn't seem final until we pulled out of our driveway last Tuesday morning. With tears flowing down my cheeks, we honked at our home one last time, and turned the corner to the next chapter of our lives.
The night before, we laid on our air mattress, with a blanket and pillow we borrowed from our neighbors, since the uhaul out front held all of our belongings. We snuggled in the dark and talked about the first time we had visited Charlottesville. We were only dating at the time, and plans to move to the city were still undecided. Four years later, married with an M.D, we laid in our empty home, surrounded only by the suitcases that once represented our arrival. Life has never felt so bittersweet.
Two weeks ago we attended numerous festivities that celebrated graduation. I knew each party was another chance to squeeze in as much time as possible with our friends. My heart is heavy and excited at the same time; a new city and new opportunities on the horizon, while the reality of leaving a life we love lingers in my head. Just a year ago, we'd nonchalantly respond that we would love to be back in the midwest when people asked about our future plans. The plans to move rolled off my tongue so easily.
And now- here we are. The reality of not visiting our favorite restaurants, having BBQ's in our backyard, leaving our small groups and not attending our church have started to sink in. My mind drifts back to meeting at Millers for our favorite nachos, sitting in our living room until the wee hours of the morning playing "Just Dance," concerts at Fridays After Five, MFL games, Saturday mornings at the Farmer's Market, indulging in Arch's brownie goodness, golfing at Meadowbrook on a Sunday afternoon, or the weekend hikes in the mountains. All these seemingly small details of life that have one central feature - incredible friendships. Friends, who have become more like family. I think about the first time I attended a girl's Bible study just weeks after settling into Charlottesville, not realizing that some of those girls would be my rocks and encouragers in the toughest of times over the next four years. Or some of Kyle's classmates who road-tripped to Michigan to celebrate our wedding, or stood on the sidelines, cheering during races.
In your mid 20's, you encounter so many changes. Dating, engagements, marriages, babies, houses, career changes, and tragedies. You take risks, face failure and celebrate success. We've laughed so hard
As we welcome a pretty incredible beginning in another city, our life in Charlottesville has come to an end. My eyes still swell as our life changes force us leave behind a matchless past.
Until next time, C'ville!