four days and four hours and thirty-four minutes (soLs)

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t count days. As I go about my routine time gets lost. Right now, in fact, I’m not sure if today is the 12th or the 17th or maybe the 20th. It is worse during the summer, but even during the school year, I find myself estimating the date on notebook entries. I look at the highlighted square on my calendar, check for the day’s events and completely miss noticing the date. I’m not sure how many years I’ve been blogging. I don’t know the exact day my grandfather died. Birthdays escape me.

But I know thisKarianne left four days and four hours and thirty-four minutes ago.

There’s empty spaces in the house where she belongs. The space at the end of the couch where her laptop sat. The corner in the entryway where her flip flops were always kicked off. The empty window sill above the kitchen sink where her bracelets waited while she washed dishes. 
Physical reminders that twist the sting of missing just a little deeper into our hearts. 
It’s proof that we did it right, Andy says. If it didn’t hurt it means we could have loved more. So this sting, that keeps stinging even after four days and four hours and thirty-four minutes is a good thing. It means we loved deeply and lived fully. It means our hearts have expanded, and we glimpse a little bit more of the definition of family. It means we have more insight into lives outside of ours.
I guess all of that makes up for the sting.
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  1. What a lovely post. The love you had for her just oozes out of this piece. I'm guessing that Karianne has been missing all of you too.

  2. So many great phrases that tugged at my heart strings. A special girl, a special family, special moments to be treasured forever. It is proof that you did it right.

  3. I can't tell you how much I miss you! The hugs before I went to bed and watching NCIS, it's not the same watching it alone! I'm sending you lots of love over the Atlantic!!

  4. “It's proof that we did it right, Andy says. If it didn't hurt it means we could have loved more.” I love that! It's so hard to see it that way sometimes but I think it does bring comfort in a way. Better to miss someone because it means you've had good times, love, and memories made, which in turn, makes separation easier.

  5. I always love the insights that you provide into you and Andy navigating different aspects of your life. Through your blogging, I could tell how much you welcomed Karianne and made her a part of your lives. How lucky she was to have been placed with your family. As a college exchange student, I know just how much of a difference the motivations behind hosting a student can make.

    I am glad that the experience was mutually enjoyable!

  6. Amazing how one person's leaving makes such a huge hole in the house! Isaiah has been gone for 18 days and every day, I miss him more. Love Andy's perspective, that it's proof that you did it right.

  7. I love the following line:It's proof that we did it right, Andy says. If it didn't hurt it means we could have loved more. What a wonderful perspective on a very emotional time. My two girls have left and that sentence gives me affirmation that my husband and I did our best.

  8. An expanded heart is good. She helped make room for more love and living to happen. What a treasure and what great memories to savor.