I authored this post last November, before I published BeYourselfBlog.com. Updating the timeframes to "anchor" it in the present simply didn't work, so please, let's time travel together back to November 14, 2015 and let it speak to us from there...
Fifteen years ago, this little bakery became a regular stop for Sarah and me on our way back home from the Philadelphia airport. With three kids in California, PHL has seen its share of hugs and kisses, and holding back tears at the curb. No flights today, though. Sarah and I drove down for our Global Entry interviews. Stopping here on our way home was like breathing. Natural. I love the little routines that sweeten life.
We placed our order and headed to "our" table. Coffee is self-serve and always on our menu, so we filled our cups before settling in. Mine had barely made it to my lips when a memory came in a flood as the aroma rose to meet me. I looked up and locked on Sarah, "Wow, it just struck me that I was really upset the last time we were here." She paused for a moment before the memory took up residence. A minute later she was with me, except for one important detail. Neither of us could remember what had overcome me, even though the memory's intense emotion was crystal clear. Waves of sadness had washed over me then, but its source was obscured. Mystified, we talked it out until the fog lifted.
Our last visit here was in September. We were returning home after sending our middle daughter off to California. But this was no ordinary sendoff. Lauren had returned home three years ago after ten years on the west coast, settling into her own place just ten minutes from our home. She was moving back now, and this was her return trip. The time had come to leave Pennsylvania winters, and us, behind. Again. We were thrilled to see Lauren take her next life steps with such clarity, but the separation was profoundly sad and deeply emotional for all of us. Mine happened to come out in a flood in this very seat that day.
But today was different. Sitting here with Sarah two months later, my heart was healed and filled. Lauren is settled in her new home, happy to be back among her wonderful friends, close to her sibs and reconnected with her amazing girlfriend. She is happy and we are so happy for her. We miss having her close, for sure, and I have to admit that writing this tugged on my heart, occasionally making it hard to write through watery eyes. But we couldn't be happier for her and everyone she's touching back in her California home.
I love that Sarah and I have our very own table at our Corner Bakery Cafe. And while it harbors some memories whose details are not easily recalled, it never fails to serve up the full measure of their rich emotions. Coffee and tears, please. To the brim, if you don't mind.