We both loved the same man.
Believe me, I know.
How many times do we need to go through this?
I don’t know.
It’s only been six months since we left.
It’s only the second time we’ve been back since the first time we drove away.
The kids took a walk inside the house. It’s good for them to do that, and I’m happy they did. You invited me to come along, and I did take a peek inside the door, but for now, I’m content to remain on the outside, at a distance. Maybe one day it’ll be different.
Maybe one day we’ll drive through town for old time’s sake and our teenage kids’ll all pile out of that beat up minivan. We’ll knock on the door to be answered by the pastor’s wife who’ll already know who we are because this is the town where everybody knows your name and you’re the type of people who cherish and remember their pastors. Pastor isn’t home yet, he’s still over at the wedding reception, but she’ll apologize for the mess as she opens the door to welcome us in to take a look around, like the time when Pastor Nebel and his wife and children all came by.
Not yet though. Not today.
But I heard all about how you’re getting the house good and fixed up again. Man that place looked good when we moved in. You don’t know who’ll be living there next, but that’s okay, God knows. You just leave that up to Him and keep on doing what you’re doing. Keep on gutting out the bathroom and tearing up the carpets and keep on making that place the home away from home. You guys were so wonderful about that. We had the best parsonage a pastor could ever have, including a brand new dishwasher after John was born, a gift we never even had to ask for.
You know, I can’t say for sure, but something tells me this wasn’t a coincidence. One of the trustees’ wives, her name was Lisa, came over to babysit one night. The very next day her husband was knocking on the front door, telling us as soon as we had the chance, to head over to Lowe’s and pick ourselves out a new dishwasher. We’d gotten by three years without one, and figured we didn’t really need one, because, well, this is the way it had always been done. But that day Brad said it was about time, that the pastor’s wife, a new mom of four little young ones, ought to have herself a dishwasher.
I didn’t understand why I felt so sad over that tree being gone, seemed like a silly thing to shed a tear over. Then I came home and looked through some pictures. Then I remembered we loved that tree. I don’t mean to go on and on, but this is a story of long lasting love, and true love isn’t always easy, and here’s where I think I’m going with all this:
You and I both loved the same man, and that’s okay.
It’s okay you always will.