I keep telling myself, “It’s not a funeral. It’s a departure. It’s not a funeral”

IMG_9107Two weeks from today we enter the Missionary Training Center, before departing for 3 years.  I am walking around in a blur.  Some days I feel like I’m attending my own funeral.  I keep repeating the words from Elizabeth Degen Bushman’s headstone “Departed this Life.”  NOT “Died.”  I’m just departing for a while.  But still, a part of me is in mourning.

Today I said good bye to my wonderful quilt group and friends there.  Each evening we are whisked off by friends who want to have one final dinner with us.  Neighbors are bringing food over, knowing how busy we are.  Emails pour in with notes of love and encouragement.  Our kids are here whenever they are able, knowing it will be a long time before they can drop in on us and just visit.  And we are trying to pack and John is trying to leave BYU and I’m trying to leave Days for Girls.  It’s really hard to extract ourselves from our very very busy lives.  Our lives are not just busy, they are Wonderful.  That’s what is making this so difficult.  How to leave things we love?  I don’t know how.

Some wonderful things have happened this week.  Yesterday I went to a film studio, where a wonderful new friend, Daniela Larsen and her technical crew recorded me telling the Days for Girls Story so I can leave myself behind a bit more.  It will be available soon to share with anyone doing an event, and with the 30+ girls camps doing DfG work all over the state.

By the end of the week, we will be moving into a Days for Girls Sewing Center here in Orem.  We’ve secured a fabulous space in a wonderful location.  More to come on that.  I’m Thrilled.  With that now in place, I can begin to empty my home of Days for Girls supplies and fabric.  Below you will see Adam’s bedroom (just one of the rooms I’ve taken over with fabric!).  This room is next to the laundry, where my washer and dryer have been going around the clock for the last year or more.   Adam’s bed hasn’t seen the light of day in a long long time.  2015-6-10 Adam's room fabric (6)2015-6-10 Adam's room fabric (4)2015-6-10 Adam's room fabric (3)

Here is our garage.  Haven’t been able to park cars there for months.  2015-5-8 Garage, Penny Stephenson (2) 2015-5-8 Garage, Penny Stephenson (3) 2015-5-8 Garage, Penny Stephenson (5)2015-6-10 Garage (1) 2015-6-10 Garage (2)I should have taken some photos before moving much of it out.  Imagine double or  triple the supplies, piled high.

Here’s my car today.  110 boxes.  Did some dumpster diving yesterday.  These boxes will hold our finished kits so they are ready to send out into the world.   2015-6-9 Dumpster diving

So, that’s my life right now.  Wandering around from pile to pile.  Wondering how to exit.  Wondering how to leave people and work I love with all my heart.  Wondering how to leave my amazing children.  Wondering how to depart. . . .

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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4 Responses to I keep telling myself, “It’s not a funeral. It’s a departure. It’s not a funeral”

  1. Charlene Winters says:

    It feels a little like a funeral to me, Ann. I’m sure you know that John has done something unexpected and incredible for me, and I’m going to miss him terribly. And I sincerely believe you are one of the rock stars we keep talking about with our RISE initiative here at BYU. I suspect you both alreadyhave your E-tickets punched for the Celestial Kingdom! May your mission be everything you hope for, and more.

  2. You have always been amazing Ann, and the journey continues!

  3. Janice says:

    The “sergin'” general and I will miss you dearly! Thank you for your warm welcome and helping usher us into the world of Days! We look forward to seeing what your next adventure brings! –Janice and Dell

  4. Leigh chazen says:

    I’m sure it must be so hard for you Ann – and John. We’ve been thinking of you so much at this time…sending our love and prayers for your successful transition. ♡♡♡

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