Carrying On

Me: This is the last consecutive date we’ll see in our lifetime.

13 year old sister: Ahh! We should do something.

Dad: What should we do? Dance party?

13 year old sister: Too Mainstream.

I realize we’re getting older, but it is the little things that suddenly make me appreciate anew that life is changing. In these last few weeks, that’s come across in two ways: my carry-on suitcase has a broken zipper and my family’s minivan has a broken transmission.

The zipper broke in Seattle this summer. I couldn’t get my clothes in or out of my trusted carry-on. All I had was a little window with which to maneuver. The luggage was already on its last leg, and my family said it was time to look for a new set when I returned home. But even then, frustrated that I could barely get one sock through and borrowing my sister’s shirts, I didn’t want to let go of the luggage. So I held on. I’ve used it all semester.

The graduation gift from my grandmother has taken me on many adventures. It’s taken me to see that grandmother in Mexico and to see my friend in Illinois. Spontaneous weekend road trips and long planned beach trips, those two wheels have traveled far.

Many times, that carry-on has been loaded into my mom’s van. My family has had this burgundy Honda Odyssey since 2002. I remember exploring it with Hannah when we first tried out the back seat. If I were to add all the road trips together, I have probably spent a solid 37 hours asleep in this car. I know just how to curl for maximum comfort while still staying buckled. We double buckled as kids, driving to Atlanta for adventures. From Niagara Falls to New York City to Disney World, I’ve seen so much from the window in that van. When I first learned to drive in the church parking lot, it was there for me, safe as a tank. I packed up all my cherished possessions into that van and moved to college a few years ago. And now, it’s gone. They got a lovely new van to replace it, but carrying on can be difficult.

I didn’t realize that it was the last consecutive date I’d ever see until a few minutes ago. There are not many hours in the day left; I feel like I wasted so many hours not knowing that 12-13-14 was special. But it’s been an excellent day. Tomorrow will come and replace the thirteenth with the fourteenth, as all days do. It will be special. My new luggage, already named Carl, will take me on adventures unforeseen. The new van might carry my sisters off to college one day, and that day will probably come sooner than I think. The days and adventures will come when we’re not looking for them, when we’re simply living. Things will break, relationships will change, jobs will shift, Christmases will seem different, and life will keep going. And often, it seems to keep getting better.

I’d recommend a dance party to celebrate the daily living, but apparently that’s just too mainstream.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16

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