"Mommy, It's okay," Laura whispered from her car seat, "I'll sing you Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." I sopped up my tears with a section from my trusty paper towel roll or "cry roll" as it came to be called at our going away party. Although a rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle in a high-pitched three-year-old voice is sweet, it only slightly extinguished the sadness of leaving behind some of the greatest and most powerful memories built over the last 12-years.
As I sobbed in the passenger's seat of our mini van from Gladstone to Lawrence, I recalled the faces of those I said goodbye to that very night, and the days proceeding our move from Kansas City to Arizona. It was like picturing a puzzle of all my favorite people and memories--a puzzle I spent every waking hour and attention building, only to be broken apart right when it seemed to fit together just right.
How do you say good bye? How do you move on when your puzzle is jumbled? Each person, each piece of the puzzle was an intricate piece of my life that I know I am the better for. Whether I knew them all 12-years, or perhaps only a millisecond, each person in that puzzle helped me to change, grow and reach heights never attainable without their help. If you know me, you know how much I just really like people. Yes, sometimes even those who may be part of the puzzle with little rough edges and peeling paper, or might not pop in as cohesively as some of the other pieces...even those. I've needed the shabby pieces just as much as the perfectly cut ones to experience the full life I lived in this magical place. Kansas City--magic you say? You bet your sweet Royals, Chiefs, BBQ, N Oak, stupid pot holes everywhere, unpredictable weather, cow pasture, behinds! Magic.
As I sit in this hotel room somewhere between the scattered pieces of an old puzzle and the unopened puzzle box of another, I still feel a little weepy, perhaps in need of a three-year-old Twinkle, Twinkle serenade. Still, I can't help but feel, that my place of magic will call me home again someday and I can put my puzzle back together--maybe even add on just a bit.