If you would have had a conversation with me two months ago about my feelings on Boston, it would have gone starkly different than it would today. For starters, it is finally spring time here. It was an incredibly long and hard winter. Spring time in Boston (and I am guessing for most North Eastern cities) is amazing and fairytale like...there are birds and tulips and trees that literally rain down tiny little pink and white and yellow flowers...everything smells so good and happy and new. And everyone finally seems happy because they have spent months, and months, and months, indoors ...... shoveling themselves out, and trudging over pile after pile of sloppy, dirty old snow.
I vividly remember every emotion and thought I had prior to our move here. I am an "overly passionate" person some would say ( DAVE) and that is not always and endearing trait..as it turns out, passion can be confused by those around you as anger or aggression from time to time ( I know! I was shocked to learn this too!!) but those of us who are 'overly passionate" know it comes from a place of love, excitement and mostly just overwhelming emotional attachment to a thing...I am very easily attached to things..my heart is big and squishy and spills over most of the time. I was optimistic about our move. I had always wanted to go to New England and it was exciting. A new start and there are actual seasons there!! But still I cried for 10 of our 20 hour pilgrimage..My heart instantly ached for my home, friends and family. These friends that have become our family. They know us up and down, good and bad. They have cried with us, laughed with us. We have fought and made up. We have "grown up" together..we have witnessed the births of each others children and been at every birthday party. We have visited each other in hospitals and held hands when we were scared. We have comforted and been comforted at times of loss. We have prayed with each other, held one another accountable. We have listened and been listened to we have loved and been loved beyond anything we could ever deserve....and I over passionately cried and cried and cried as we drove away...
Friendships take time, and trust and heart and more time...and it seems the older we get, the harder it is to make friends...this move has certainly proved that true. A lady told me yesterday that in the south people will welcome you with open arms, and over time decide if they like you, gradually backing off if you are not a good fit...but in the north they keep up a brick wall and slowly remove one brick at time until they are ready to let you in...I found this to be a very true and interesting observation...I think the southern approach will cause heart ache down the road..and I think the northern approach causes heart ache from the jump...this said its been a pretty lonely year and half here and we were certainly not greeted with a smile and open arms....it is a cold city on more than one level.
But then a unimaginable terror happened in this city last week....it was devastating and horrible and just insane..we watched it all unfold with the rest of the country on the news..but we were sitting just miles away from the reality. Dave's office stayed closed for a week and a half because the area surrounding it remained a crime scene...we sat on lock down, not leaving our homes because we were told not to as they hunted down the person responsible for these crimes, this terror.... the one who took multiply lives, left countless people in critical condition..devastating an entire city. It was surreal to say the least....and I watched this city that I have felt no connection to prior to this, stand together..I watched the bravery and determination of this city...I watched the city get back up and move forward despite such tragedy.....and I finally felt like I had some connection here.....a bond you could only have if you here for this thing..this tragedy...it links you together somehow...because you came out of it together...even if you have not clue who the "yous" are on a personal level..
I drove Dave to work today and the city was lively...full of people out and about, because it is a beautiful day...its spring time in Boston..trees raining flower and birds singing and police barricades are coming down. I could not help but smile but then suddenly before I knew what happened I was crying. We move in three weeks and my big squishy heart began to ache. I know I want to go home. Our kids want to go home...I want to be able to drive them to see their grandparents and spend summers with their families..( without spending 50 hours in our car) I want to be close by as our parents age and need us close...I want to be close by our parents as our kids grow and we need their support and encouragement.. this city has history, charm and beauty by the bucketful..it does not have our friends and family and personal history which is worth its weight in gold... but has a little piece of me now.
This year has been hard, discouraging, and up hill all the way battle...it has taken a toll on each of us differently..there has been many tears and broken hearts...mine has been broken for sure..but taped, glued and sewed back together little by little...and nestled right in the middle of my big, broken/mended, squishy, overly passionate heart, there is a piece of shrapnel left by this city..and I never want it removed..it will stay there forever..because I will never forget the loneliness and hurt..and I will never ever forget how much I changed and grew and learned from being here...God breaks us and sifts us to refine us...and as strange as it may sound, Boston refined me...and I will be forever grateful.