My bus has been parked on the ever shifting sands of change lately.  I tried to logically think through things that don't change.  The list was very small.  That in and of itself gave substance to the reality of living life surrounded and filled with change.  There was brilliance to this design of change - a reminder that life is moving, finite.  We are transients in it really. 

If that is indeed the case, that there is more change present in our lives than things are are static and same, why do we sometimes wrestle with it?  Why do we sometimes have a love/hate relationship with change and the movement of time?

Time is itself a thing of change.  It is constantly moving.  Time changes almost everything that popped into my head - our looks, our age, the start and close of a day, the seasons, our schedules...  Time marks itself on literally everything in life. 

I felt that yesterday once again.  Poised on the edge of change, I tried to drink in the things around me that were oh so familiar and were such a big vein in my life.  As I engaged with those that I love deeply I also tried to pull myself away, to watch it in third person too.  I didn't want to miss all the nuances that make each of my family members who they are.

Change had come to everyone around the Easter table.  My two twin nieces and one of their boyfriends were finishing out the last 3 weeks of their sophomore years in college.  They were more grown-up even though my one niece still picked me up off the floor to squeeze me tight as she did every time she saw me.  One of my other nieces would graduate from college in another month and then with another change swift on her heels, get married in June.  I marveled at them grown up and changing into adult versions of themselves.  They had not stayed the same nor would they no matter how hard I remembered them as kids or heard them say "Aunt Nancy".  Another niece and her husband were new parents of a four month old girl - Emmie.  I watched them now as a mom and dad. 

Change was full of blessings and yet always left just a whisper of the wistfulness for the times that had past and/or changed.  As my eyes filled with tears that I tried to keep from spilling out, I wondered what other changes would come to their lives in the months and years ahead.  More changes and less things that were static seemed to be a theme with all who had gathered at the table.

I thought about my middle sister and her husband sitting at the table too.  Both my sister and Kent, my brother-in-law called me "Nanny" - their term of endearment for me.  My brother-in-law was much more than an "in-law" to me, he had been my brother for almost 30 years.  His warm embrace and kiss on my cheek as he whispered, "Nanny, I will miss having you here.  I love any time I get to spend with you", filled my heart with joy. That was his very normal way with me and a language of love that we both spoke.  Kent had seen his own massive changes to his life over the years.  So it was with both an understanding of the changing movement of all things in life, and wistfulness that it wouldn't change that mixed thoroughly in with his love.

I always felt big love from my middle sister Diane.  It was never condemning love, or preachy love.  It was just wild-i-love-my-nanny kind of love.  She giggled at my irreverence, made a trip to the bathroom with me (that is what sisters do!) so we could continue our conversation, dried the dishes as I washed them after Easter dinner and always made me feel like if there was anything physically she could do to fix anything in my life, she would.  She was the one who had dropped everything when I came home from the hospital on several occasions over the years just to take care of me.  I hated the thought that my physical presence wouldn't allow me to be in her presence.  She made me feel like being me was more than ok.  I loved her fiercely.

My parents sat at their normal end of the big oak table my dad had made to accommodate the large and growing family he had.  It could seat around 15 if we all scrunched in.  It was a comforting sight to see them in their spots, to hear my dad's prayer and his voice crackle as he prayed for the Easter meal.  I have to think part of his emotion was the bigness of the love he had for God who had loved him and he had loved all his life, and the realization that things were shifting - that his youngest was moving away from the sheep pen.

There were absent members of the family too that also marked changes in our family.  My own daughter and husband were in Africa.  My oldest niece and husband now lived in Indianapolis and were expecting their first child.  My oldest sister and husband decided to get away to Florida spur of the moment.  Everyone had movement and changes in their lives too. 

I too had experienced more changes than things that I could count that had remained unmoving and the same.  Why then did I feel a bit wistful about changes yet again? 

As we pulled out of the driveway of the house that I grew up in, that my parents still lived in after 50 years, I tried to capture and bottle the feelings that came over me every time I was there.  I tried to memorize the look of the farm fields that surrounded my parents house - the fields that I had spent most of my childhood running through. 

I smiled at my silly wistfulness knowing it was all futile really.  Life was designed to change.  We are born and travel to death.  Everything from start to finish is a work in progress, moving sidewalks, ticking seconds, changing of the guard.  I opened my hand to what lie directly in front of me.  I was as ready as I could be for a move, a change, a new direction. 

Mixed into this change was a bit of nostalgia, a shake of fear, and a belief that change is a necessary and constant part of life.  I was thankful amidst all the change that the love of my life, Doug, was in it with me.  That made change less like change and more like an adventure.

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