This time I was feeling the grace of God in much greater measure. Sure, I had weepy moments, but they were just that--moments.
Like when I realized I had missed my chances to snap a candid photo of him glued to his computer screen during finals. I would peek in there and think, Get a picture. Remember this. His neatly made bed topped with a sleeping bag, pillow, cell phone, and a programming textbook. His desk clear except for another textbook, wallet, pencil and paper. His black bookcase filled with books. The dozen framed photos of his beloved. His work clothes hanging in a tidy row in the closet. His hamper full.
No sooner did Steve have keys to the new place than his little brother took over his room. These rites of passage happen in a flash, don't they? The brothers have different housekeeping standards, for sure.
And perhaps when his best friend Eric and his girlfriend showed up to help, along with Ambrey and one of her guy friends from church, I felt like crying with gratitude. (Our oldest, tallest, strongest son was away Memorial Day weekend with his wife's family, so wasn't here. Our Sarah was able to help on the receiving end.)
And perhaps I had another weepy moment when I saw the U-Haul pull up into the driveway, and their sofa being lifted toward the ramp. It's really happening. This is it, Zo. He's moving, and moving on.
You know how some people will offer to help you move two weeks in advance but then when the day actually comes, suddenly they develop a debilitating hangnail. Not this crew.
I had asked God to please supply help because I'm not good with heavy lifting, Paul isn't supposed to,
and Ambrey's dad has a bad back and a weak wrist. But being a physical therapist, he strapped on the back support and wrist supports and got to work.
I felt all the more grateful knowing they would suffer for their service.
That's just the way good dads roll.
They bought their kitchen table on Craigslist for $30
and Steve rehabbed it
with sandpaper and spray paint. He was not fully proud of it,
but she was proud of him. "Good job, baby!" she always says.
In one hour, they had his stuff loaded.
I may ultimately regret including this picture for numerous reasons, but it's all I've got.
Steve was more than ready to get the "show on the road." He humored with one pose.
(I almost never wear a T-shirt. Why did I that day?)
From our place we went to hers. I loved watching
these girls watch the men figure out how to cram everything in.
Eric is an engineer. The other fellow seemed equally
keen on making the best use of space.
I asked, "Are you
an engineering major, too?" To which he replied very dead-pan,
"No, I just like to use my brain."
Best line of the whole day!
Eric's girlfriend Brit is on the left. Ambrey is on the right.
I saw them as future young wives and moms doing life together.
Brit was almost more excited than Ambrey and kept saying so!
Then we took the five-cent tour of their new place.
The guys took turns commenting on how low the chandelier is.
Ambrey's mom and I set up lunch for the help.
And then we stood in a circle while Steve gave God thanks for the friends, his family, the new place and the blessing of a forthcoming marriage with the love of his life. He also prayed that this apartment would be one where they would extend hospitality to many people , a place where people would feel God's love.
And we did. I can only imagine this picture will be more heartwarming over the years. Humble beginnings, happy times.
The girls loved, loved, loved Ambrey's pillows. Check out the lampshade above and the matching white pillow below. Steve said, "Yup, I'm gonna have the most chicked-out bachelor pad for a month."
All that to say ,I felt strengthened deep within knowing that Steve had transitioned well from stage of life to another.
From womb to crib, from crib to big-boy bed.
From big-boy bed to top bunk. From top bunk to his own room.
From his own room to his own apartment.
From being taken care of to being the one taking care of another. He does our hearts good.
The joy in their faces say "Loving you, loving this new place. loving life!"