Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Goodbye, Virginia.

It was August eight years ago when I was sobbing, pulling out of my driveway, waving goodbye to my also sobbing mama. I was off to Virginia for medical school--a brave new world! Just me, Lady and the Jeep. How was I to know what an amazing journey this would be?

Right away, I met two precious friends, Katie and Ann, who remain among my best friends today. Then a few months later, I met this guy that I kinda liked named Rob. Y'all know the rest of that story :)

From lovely Blacksburg, we moved 2 years later to Roanoke--the first "city" I'd ever lived in. And still my favorite city. We had our first house together...a cute rental cottage on Wycliffe Avenue. I fell in love with farmer's markets.

A year later we moved to Norfolk, the biggest city I'd ever lived in. And hopefully the biggest city I will ever live in. How could I love a big city? Oh boy, in a thousand ways.

We had our 2 precious children here, delivered by a dear friend,
Tab church,
great indie restaurants,
living by the water,
kayaking that one time,
outdoor concerts,
the botanical gardens,
the zoo,
the beach,
afternoons at Colonial Place park,
walking Lady by the water while she chased the geese,
being lucky enough to become friends with the beautiful girl singing on stage at Tab,
dinners out with Katie and other wonderful gals,
dinners in with Katie and Bernadette and Lindsay and Jen & Alex and their families,
working a job I loved,
being lavished with wonderful baby showers for TWO children over the years,
amazing spiritual growth spurred first by the Hardison's then by lots of folks who loved us,
experiencing wonderful growth in our marriage,
being loved by Miss Kat, who loves deeply,
having my children sheparded by other wonderful mothers in our neighborhood,
watching James and Peter and June and Stephen and Owen and Luke grow alongside our children,
being blessed by Janel, who is like Paul in her willingness to glorify God, even if it means suffering,
sobbing upon saying goodbye yesterday and Katie saying "just go" and laughing because that's so Katie...
I could go on all day.

But, here we are, leaving all of these wonderful things. And somehow, we are excited. I can't wait for small town living. And for visits from all these Virginians :)

As we pulled into our new neighborhood after 11 hours on the road last night, Rowen asked me to show him James and Peter's houses. I wanted to cry, but I knew better. We're not over and this is not the end. Its just the beginning.

XOXO. mjs


  1. Beautiful blog entry, I especially love that part about Janel being like Paul, because in my current state that is inspiration. But you, Meryl, my dear dear friend are Selfless. Katie and I agreed upon that as you were driving off. Never have I met someone who cares first for all others before there own self. Meryl you exemplify Philipians 2:4 "look not every man to his own things, but every man also on the things of others". Love you, see you very soon!

  2. Meryl, this is a beautiful post, and I know exactly how you feel. Leaving Okinawa after four years was the hardest thing I think I've ever had to do. Like your life in Virginia, we had everything we could ever dream of, and life was blissful. Wonderful friends, a great church, jobs we enjoyed, the list goes on. I know how tough it is to leave it all behind for the unknown, and I wish I could say it gets easier over time. I'm still homesick for Japan! But I try to focus on what a blessing it was to experience it rather than agonize over the fact that it had to end. I hope you will find Beaufort to be as rich of an experience as Norfolk!

  3. Good thing I'm up at 4:30 am to read this post. I'm still in denial, you know. Still hasn't really sunk in deep. James keeps asking when you will all come back. Then he asks when we will move and never come back. He told me this morning he doesn't like church because Rowen is not there. I thought, "I don't like this neighborhood because M is gone", but I didn't say it out loud. Can't wait to visit your 4 bathroom house after this baby is born. Love you.