We’re Moving…

by Melannie Svoboda SND on August 10, 2020

As many of you know, I live with two other sisters: Sisters Sandy and John Paul. The three of us are moving to our provincial center property in Munson Township in a few weeks. First, a little background.

The three of us have lived in this house together for about 15 years. This is the longest I have ever lived in one place since I entered the convent in 1962. Though the provincial center is only 7 miles away, it is a different world from this one. Here I live with only 2 sisters, in a house, in a neighborhood, in a parish. In my new home, I will return to “institutional style living” in sprawling buildings that house 171 sisters (now including me).

I always say, “I don’t live on a yellow brick road, but I do live in a yellow brick house!”

My head tells me it’s time to move–for several reasons including the condition of this house. But my heart has yet to fully embrace the idea. It says things like, “But you love this old house… and look at your beautiful neighborhood with all those huge maple trees and Victorian houses… And what about your wonderful neighbors: Matt and Drew, Kate, Karyn and Jeff, Dave, Bill and Louise?..

“And what about this parish where you’ve received so much spiritual nourishment over the years… and where you buried your parents and your brother? … And where you’ve come to know so many good, prayerful, and caring parishioners?… And won’t you miss the square in Chardon, with its stately old courthouse that can be seen miles away?… And won’t you miss all those trips to the grocery store, postoffice, library, and nearby parks? And the yard graced with lilacs, lilies-of-the-valley, and peonies?… And what about the Maple Festival–especially that parade that sometimes brought tears to your eyes—especially when the veterans led the way with their flags, and the first responders inched along in their bright red fire trucks?

This house has a long history. According to courthouse records, the original land was purchased in 1843 by Pardon Wilbur. (Don’t you just love his first name?) In 1848, he sold a 19 acre parcel to a woman named Prudence White. (Another quaint name!) It was she who built the original house. I wonder: how did a woman—in that era—manage to buy land and build a house? Though we could find nothing about her, we proudly display her name on the plaque on our front porch.

Over the years, the house was expanded and updated and was home to many families. But in 1952, the diocese of Cleveland (under Bishop Hoban) bought the house and the land for St. Mary’s Parish, established in Chardon in 1909. In 1961, the parish opened an elementary school, grades 1-4, with 171 students. The staff consisted of 3 Sisters of Notre Dame and 2 lay teachers. On August 14, 1962, four Sisters moved into this house that the parishioners had renovated for them.

Our side porch entrance in the snow–something Chardon is noted for!

Over the years, I have written a lot about letting go. But it’s one thing to write about it and another thing to live it. I find myself going through all kinds of emotions, from: “Moving is no big deal, Melannie. People move all the time. Get over it! Besides, consider yourself extremely lucky. You have another home to move into—with many wonderful people too! What about all those people today facing eviction or experiencing homelessness? And didn’t Jesus himself say, ‘Make your home in me’?”

Any nun will tell you: what matters most is not the house you live in, but the nuns you live with! (Sisters John Paul, Sandy, and me.)

But another part of me says, “This house is more than a house. It’s a holy place. It has housed not only physical bodies; it has housed hopes… dreams… prayers… fears… joys… sorrow… laughter… and love.” And so I take all my jumbled emotions to prayer and say something like this:

My Sweet Beloved God, thank you for this house I have called home for 15 years. Thank you for the shelter it has provided for me. Thank you for its beauty, its homeyness, its history, its quirks, its mystery. I thank you too for Sandy and JP who have shared so much life with me in this holy place: good times, hard times, sad times, fun times… and all those blessed ordinary times that comprised so much of our time together. Give me the strength to let go of what was, so I may reach for what is yet to be. May I move into my new home with trust, hope, and gratitude. For I firmly believe, wherever I will go, you are already there with arms open wide to welcome me. Amen.

Reflection questions:

Did any words in this reflection touch your heart today? If so, which? Do you know why?

What has been your experience of moving? Hard or easy? Rare or frequent?

What helps you to let go of places, situations, loved ones, and even your own will?

PS: I will be giving a Zoom retreat “Hanging onto Hope” Oct. 2 and 3 sponsored by Mount St. Joseph Retreat Center in Maple Mount, KY. The retreat begins Friday evening and ends Saturday afternoon. It includes conferences, sharing sessions, prayer, handouts, music, videos. The cost is $60. See Mount St. Joseph’s website for further details. It would be fun meeting some of you via zoom!

Lea Salonga is a Filipina singer/actress best known for her Tony Award winning role in Miss Saigon. She was also the singing voices for two Disney princesses, Jasmine and Mulan. May this song, “The Journey,” remind us that our journey of life begins and ends in God’s love.

Would you like to respond to anything in this reflection or video? If so, please do so below. We would love to hear from you!

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Annete August 10, 2020 at 5:12 am

I loved your reflection. This too was my home, not as many years as yours, but still my home. There is something unique about it and almost a creative, loving and inborn spirit in its walls that kind of embrace whoever lives there. I can so resonate with your expressions, feelings, questions and the struggle to let go as I prepare to leave my home in Africa sometime next year after 23 years. Letting go is not easy and my prayer is the same as yours…May I move into my new home with trust, hope, and gratitude. For I firmly believe, wherever I will go, you are already there with arms open wide to welcome me. Amen.

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Melannie Svoboda SND August 10, 2020 at 7:00 am

Dear Annete, How nice to hear from you all the way from Kenya! Yes, what a major move you will be making soon as you leave your beloved Africa and return to “the States.” Just know you will have many people–family, friends, and sisters–eager to welcome you home! (Readers: Sister Annete planted the rose bushes by our side porch. We always refer to them as “Annete’s roses.”) Thanks for writing, Annete! Much love, Melannie

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Ed Johnson August 10, 2020 at 5:56 am

Sister Melannie,
Touching reflection…..so many memories of your home of many years. My roots are in Ohio; childhood, schooling, marriage, birth of two daughters. We also include North Carolina, Indiana, and Florida (22 years now) as homes; my job took us to these locations. Anticipation, excitement, anxiety, and a sense of loss accompanied us on each move. But, while each move produced its own challenges, we found new lifelong friends, new faith communities, new places to explore….And, I latched onto Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord…….” Thank you for your sharings, Sister. May God’s providence be with you, and Sisters Sandy and John Paul.

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Kathy Curran August 10, 2020 at 6:05 am

I sat here this morning reliving all of the emotions of my big move just a year ago. I left my home in Maryland of 40 years, 35 with my wonderful husband. We raised our daughter there. My most joyful memories were of my life there and I loved it, but it was time for me to continue my journey in a new place. I moved from Maryland to Boston to live close to my only child and her husband and now a grandchild on the way. This move was so hard. Down sizing from a large home to a condo and living where everything would be new. Was I up to this task? Life would be so different. So much to do. Yes I miss my home, yes I miss my former spiritual home. My memories came with me and I’ve met new, wonderful people and joined various groups and love being near my daughter. I’ve found the Glastonbury Abbey and a wonderful women’s group there. It’s been good for me and I’ve never regretted the move. Difficult as it was I am grateful for all that I had in Maryland and hold in my heart and for all that I have found in my new home. COVID has hindered me and caused anxiety to say the least but God is herewith me and so is my wonderful husband. Peace be with you Sr . Melanie. Thank you for this and all of your reflections. I will keep you in my prayers as I know that this is not an easy undertaking.

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John Hopkins August 10, 2020 at 8:27 am

Yes, Glastonbury is a wonderful place, Kathy…a beautiful and nurturing spiritual community. I am proud to call it my Benedictine Oblate home!

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John Hopkins August 10, 2020 at 6:28 am

Good morning, Sr. Melannie….
Good morning, all….

That photograph (a selfie?) of the three of you smiling is so joyfully beautiful! The three of you shared the mundane intimacy of the day to day: a newspaper on the table, the sound of dishes being rinsed, a tea cup or coffee cup on the counter, the three of you at the kitchen table — reading, talking, praying, laughing, crying….For fifteen years the three of you lived out your vocations together, a shared experience leavened by a shared history. Thank God the three of you will still be together. You’ll find a pleasant table to hold hands and pray and talk about the move, another shared experience leavened by a shared memory of a good and happy place.

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Joy A Martin August 10, 2020 at 6:32 am

Moved so many times…from one coast to the other…I am blessed to have the nest I now have. I’ve learned to let go & let God. It’s OK to carry the memories of the past…people, place & things and now make memories of this day and all the days to come. Thank you for all you’ve given me over the years.

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Thomas DeFreitas August 10, 2020 at 6:38 am

My last move was in May 2010, from urban Chelsea to suburban Arlington. The day I moved here was about 95 degrees. Memorable!

In Arlington, I rediscovered community. Communities, plural, really.

Lea Salonga has a beautiful voice. Yes, forward, onward!

Sr Melannie, may your move be blessed and graced as mine was, ten years ago.

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Kathleen Magiera August 10, 2020 at 6:56 am

Beautiful reflection Sr. Melannie! Moving can be hard. I have done it several times but not recently. In the time of a pandemic, it maybe even harder.

So glad you have such wonderful memories in that home. “Trust in the Lord. . .”

Kathleen

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Father Greg Schaut August 10, 2020 at 8:03 am

Good morning!
I have a lot of special memories about your house, since I lived across the street frim.you for 5 1/2 years! The one that still stands out is celebrating Christmas Eve dinner with Fr Gilles, Sandy and two other sisters! The fireplace was roaring hot. Dinner could have fed part of the neighborhood there was soo much. Most importantly the hospitality and conversations could have gone on for hours. I will miss your old house and how John took good care of it for years. God’s Peace to you all. I just wish you and maybe still hope you can get a place in the new Jennings development in the future. God’s Peace and Good Health to you all!

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Barb August 10, 2020 at 8:10 am

Thank you for sharing this beautiful reflection and song. I am moving to retirement after 31 years of faith formation ministry. You give words to what I have no words for and the song is so rich. This song is also very powerful for me at this time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcSwYAgfiMo It is David Kaufmann’s Make Me What You Will.
May you know God’s peace and blessings in all things~Barb

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Anne Marie Vencill August 10, 2020 at 9:19 am

Moving… As my youngest packs up to move back to campus for his 3rd year of college at the end of the week, I thought about moving from the perspective of the one left behind. The one who stands at the threshold waving goodbye and then walks into the emptiness. Over the past few years, four of my five children have finished college and moved away for work; far away from Georgia: Wisconsin, South Dakota, Arizona. I am grateful they are well. Grateful they have jobs. Grateful technology allows us to connect in ways that were not possible when I moved from my parent’s home, far away to Georgia. Yet, at the same time my heart is breaking. Letting go is hard. I have long known my job as their mother is to let them go discover how to be their best selves. Knowing this is so does not make it easier. I will eventually be okay. I take comfort believing Mary too, stood at the threshold and waved goodbye to her son, and I suspect, it was hard.

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Adrienne Castellanos August 10, 2020 at 10:34 am

Very touching reflection.

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Kim August 10, 2020 at 4:44 pm

I am at that same point. Your lovely reflection brought tears to my eyes (that are teary a lot lately, as I mini-grieve my college kids’ absence). Thank you for that perspective and the reminder of our kinship with Mary, having gone through something similar.

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Nancy August 10, 2020 at 9:57 am

Sr.Melanie,trust in the Lord to put you where you need to be.I have no doubt that you will make a difference.After all,it’s not the destination,it’s the journey.God bless,Nancy

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Rose August 10, 2020 at 9:57 am

Isn’t it ironic–or perhaps part of God’s providence–that you would post this reflection today, given what today’s Gospel is? Go with God, Melannie. You are supported in prayer.

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Mary August 10, 2020 at 10:09 am

Oh Sister, I am praying for you as you return to your provincial center. I am touched by the pictures and stories of the life you’ve lived in this beautiful house – a faithful old friend. More than that, Sister, I am warmed to my soul with your obedience. In this era of self-righteousness and do-what-I -want culture, your “yes” reminds me of the strength of our faith. Your trust in His love and care fills me with great hope and great joy. Thank you, Sister. You always show me , with your words and with your life, to have no fear, to just let go, and trust in the Lord. I am wrapping you all in love and prayers.

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Marilyn Scheibel, SSND August 10, 2020 at 10:30 am

Know of my prayers for each of you as you move on with many precious memories. I envision life as my Emmaus Journey and always discovering more and more about Jesus along the way as to how he lived his life and how I choose to live mine, learning all along the way. Melannie, I also entered my community the year you did and I appreciate your messages…one friend introduced me to you very recently. Thank you so much for your wonderful sharings and for being you. God bless you and your years of ministry and many blessings on your new “home-living!”
Marilyn Scheibel, SSND

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Deb August 10, 2020 at 10:33 am

Dear Sr. Mellanie,
You expressed your bittersweet emotions so well. Prayers for you as you keep memories in your heart and settle in to a new home.
I, too, have NE Ohio ties. Born in teeny tiny Beach City (Stark Co.), family from Mentor, Painesville, and Cleveland. I moved around a ton as a kid, but have been in my current home in Colorado for 30+ years.
You’re right, God will be with you wherever you go!

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Deb August 10, 2020 at 10:36 am

Sorry! Just realized I doubled the l instead of the n! Mea culpa! 🙂

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Pamala August 10, 2020 at 10:35 am

My heart goes out to you as you prepare for your move….I can feel your uncertainty yet trying to be positive … I know how you feel .. Iwould have the same feelings.. I have lived all my married life 42 years in the same home… can’t Imagine how hard it will be the day I have to leave….May God be with you … how blessed are all of your new housemates..you are a truly special person… with in a few months I bet you will say.. how could I ever have worried about moving…. look at all my new blessings…Will pray for a happy and safe move, Pam

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Adrienne Castellanos August 10, 2020 at 10:39 am

Big moves in life are full of so many emotions. Bittersweet. Our journeys are made rich by the people who join us along the way. God Bless you and Thank you for enriching my journey. I can’t wait to hear your new reflections after you are settled in yo your new home. Keeping you in prayer.

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anita compagnone August 10, 2020 at 11:18 am

Wonderfully written sister. Your feelings and emotions can be felt here in Woodstock CT. I know I would feel exactly the same way. Change is a given huh? All my best in your new environment. God bless you, Nita

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Mary M Nausadis August 10, 2020 at 11:56 am

Good morning to you all,
I have moved many times in my earlier years. Three years ago, my daughter and her husband asked us to come to live with them when my husband was beginning to deteriorate with his stage 4 prostrate cancer. That meant leaving our home in Grand Rapids, Mi. to move 40 miles away. However, we made the decision to remain at our church community in Grand Rapids because it is such a nourishing, inclusive community. This community is part of the Grand Rapids Dominicans at their Motherhouse. At the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic, they closed their doors in order to safeguard all the sisters that live there, which meant we who were a part of the Sunday assemble, were left out in the cold.
About a month ago we received the news that the congregation is selling the motherhouse to be turned into a low-income place for seniors to live.
While this is going to be a huge change for the congregation, it is also feeling like a death knell for those of us who were such an integral part of the Dominican community of worship there. It is very unlike a parish and we had so many people who felt unwelcome in most parish settings, become an important part of our community.
So here we are needing to make a move, but not knowing where we will go. I hear Jesus saying to Mary Magdelene, “Do not cling to me” over and over with the hope that I will one day soon be able to more easily let go.

I loved the video…her voice is so beautiful…and it all felt very contemplative.

May God’s peace settle on us all,
Mary

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Julie Teder August 10, 2020 at 11:57 am

Your message today hit a note with me as I am going through boxes and closets of 53 years in this same house. I’m not planning to move anytime soon but the virus isolation has presented the time to do it and to treasure the memories with family and husband of 60 years. God has indeed blessed me and our family. I hope you have a smooth move back to the Provincial House and that you will get to see Ann from time to time. Your messages each week are such a gift on my journey. I look forward to seeing you on Zoom in October.

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Elizabeth Hillegas August 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Good morning, Sister. You spoke about leaving neighbors which reminded me of a song I sang at camp–Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. You and Sisters Sandy and John Paul have many silver memories in your house/home, but you will make many new memories in your new home that will be gold. Love the pic of your three smiling faces!
Peace be with you,
Elizabeth

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Jean Canatsey August 10, 2020 at 12:14 pm

Dear Sr. Melannie,
What a beautiful and meaningful song!
I really empathize with your feelings about moving from the home that has provided you with so many memories. I have moved many time in my 80 years of life but the most difficult was moving to the suburbs of Orlando, Florida from the wooded creek valley in Indiana where my husband and I raised our 8 children. Now we are contemplating the eventual necessity of moving from the home in Casselberry where we have lived for 26 years. (Longer than we have lived anywhere else.) We love our big back porch and our swimming pool. This home holds most of our grandchildren’s and all of our great grandchildren’s memories. It has everything we need except our ability to any longer adequately care for it by ourselves. The time is approaching when the decision on where we go from here must be made.
Please hold us in prayer.

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Carol L August 10, 2020 at 12:18 pm

Good Morning, Sister Melanie and All! Today’s blog hit home with me. My husband and I have moved many times to several states. 14 years ago we moved to a community/neighborhood where we watched the neighbors kids and our grandkids grow up. That’s the longest we have ever been in the same house. Time passed and age with it! My husband had his 80th birthday Saturday. He is battling health issues, namely breast cancer and post radiation sickness. We came quickly to the realization that we could no longer manage the huge 2 story home with large yard, put our house on the market, it sold in 2 days and we had to scramble to find a home quickly. God is never late and found us the perfect 2 bedroom home in a retirement community. We moved the week before Covid shut down our area, so had no time to sell our extra furniture which is stored in the basement and garage. We knew we were moving in December so we started dispersing many things we have accumulated over 53 years of marriage. It is freeing, but it is also sad! This feels different. Previous moves have been “upgrades.” This is a “downgrade.” This will be our last home until nursing home or cemetary. Possessions are not important! It is health, love and relationships that are! I’ll be praying for you, JP and Sandy that your transition will be smooth and enriching. It is hard to let go of the people you are moving away from, but with technology now it is easy to stay connected with texting, snap chat, face time, zoom and e-mails. Covid has put us in isolation d/t my husband being immunocompromised. I retired d/t to Covid, so am also adjusting to retirement. Daily TV Mass, daily rosary and prayer time together has been a blessing for us both. We have Many blessings. You do too, Sister Melanie! God Bless Everyone reading this and stay safe! Wear your mask, social distance and wash your hands!!! 🙂

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marilyn woidat August 10, 2020 at 12:44 pm

You are in our prayers at this nostalgic and challenging time of change.
In 2016 we left our home of 45 years of awesome memories and “stuff”.
We enjoyed donating our no longer needed things. And moving into a
brand new apartment building in the town where we became parents
to our 4 children seemed so right.
The burdens of ownership are gone, the diversity of our new neighbors,
access by walking to everything we need, and being closer to our
family make it perfect.
It will be a blessing for you, I promise. Praise be God, MW

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Karen E August 10, 2020 at 4:04 pm

Dear Sr. Melannie,
Thank you for your post today. It hit home. I really appreciated your prayer as it reminded me to call out all the ways, big and small, that I should be grateful in my every day life, even when I am not sure where it is going.

I have moved many, many times in my life. I was a travel nurse for a few years, so I even moved every three months for a few years time. Everything I needed that could fit in my little Saturn, plus my bike on the back.

Now that I am married with kids, my husband says we will never leave this house, and that makes me sad too–as it burdens me in so many ways. In fact, I’ve had to pack up and move to temporary housing this summer due to a necessary remediation to make the home healthy and free of mold. 🙁 So, boxes are not part of my history even now.

I can understand why you are sad to leave your home. It looks beautiful and really, too, it is a restructuring of your family somewhat too? I know there are wonderful gifts in store for you because God is good.
Thank you as always for your wonderful reflections.

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Gladys M Leigh August 10, 2020 at 4:10 pm

This reflection has touched my heart deeply. As we 3 CSJs are closing our home, to move to Assisted Living and one to a local community.
3 is a magic number, some say it is very difficult to form a community of 3. Three has been our dear number, we moved: 3 sisters, 3 dogs, 3 birds. We did not know each other. We decided to form community starting from scratch. We grew to love each other and all that entails.

I heard one time that when one grieves a loss, grieves past losses again. It has been true for me. I grieve the loss of leaving my home country: Peru. My other 2 sisters have been my family away from home, they have being my anchor in the USA. I had to let them know me who I was and who I am becoming.

Now, I have to start all over again… leave what is known, loved, say many good byes, to neighbors, my pets, the surrounding, the whole neighborhood. They have helped me not to be separated from the “dear neighbor”. I do not know too many Sisters in the new place, and I am sure they do not know me either. I am willing, as I was 25 years ago, to let myself known and loved, and get to know them and love them the same.

I am so grateful, for my religious community. I do have all my needs met in abundance! And I look forward to grow in becoming a member of the
Congregation of the Great Love of God.

c

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Beverly Palumbo,RSM August 10, 2020 at 4:26 pm

Dearest Melanie, my prayerful support as you continue the journey….I have lived here in institutional living for 15 years…after living in various smaller communities. Yes, it is an adjustment but I have lived with many sisters here and the joy outweighs all else. Happy New Beginning and yes, always resting in our good God. God bless. In Mercy….

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Maryann August 10, 2020 at 4:47 pm

What a beautiful column, Sr. Melannie. I remember that historic Chardon home from when I was in junior high at St. Mary’s in the mid-1970’s. Then, it was home to beloved teachers like Srs. Caron, Cora, Verne, Annelle, and Philomene. I think that part of the frustration of change is that many of us, myself included, hope that, at some point in our lives, we’ll be settled, able to enjoy a time of peace without uncertainty; that we won’t have to start anew…again. It’s hard. Know that your “blog friends” will be sending you light and love as you embark on this new chapter.

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Lucille Bless August 10, 2020 at 8:43 pm

Dear Sr. Melanie, Another journey for you and your companions begins and it is so different from this last one. I believe you are preparing yourself by being so positive about the move. May the road ahead be a bright and rewarding one for each of you. May you believe in the blessings that God has in store for you which always outnumber the sacrifices incurred. My prayers accompany each of you!

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Tom August 10, 2020 at 9:34 pm

Dear Melannie,
What an emotional grabber you have given us this week!
As the former landlord, I also remember the joys and travails of your home and its parade of residents over the years I lived across the street.
I was also touched by those who responded with stories of living most of their lives in one home and others who were perpetually on the move, especially when they were growing up. Each seems to offer its own blessings and challenges.
Two floors here at Regina have recently been renovated and some of us have been waiting for our cherished artwork to reappear. We should have known that you don’t decorate a reimaged space with old pieces of art, no matter what sentimental value they might have for some of us. So we let go, wondering how we have the audacity to be upset about such little things in the midst of a global meltdown.
Looking forward to visiting all of you in your new spots on Auburn Rd.

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Barb August 11, 2020 at 6:56 am

Dear Sister Melannie-
Thank you for sharing your journey with us as always. You touch my heart so often. I have added you to my daily prayers for blessings and peace.
Barb

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Joy Zimmerman August 11, 2020 at 9:17 am

Dear Sister Melannie,
Thank you for walking us through your journey of grief and hope and for giving us a guide to navigating our own transitions and challenges. You capture the bittersweetness so poignantly. We are grateful for your honesty and beautiful writing. Best wishes as you move into this new chapter and celebrate your memories.
Sending light,
Joy

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Melannie Svoboda SND August 12, 2020 at 8:39 am

Thank you for your response, Joy. I just visited your website to see what you’ve been up to lately, and I listened to some of your beautiful music. Readers: Joy Zimmerman is a contemporary singer/composer from Kansas City. If you want to learn more about her and her latest CD, “Shed the Light,” go to: joyzimmermanmusic.com.

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Sr. Janice Marie Johnson August 11, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Melannie, I can imagine how difficult this move must be for you and the other sisters. I have been in my present residence for almost 24 years and know that, if I am still around, I will need to move back to my Mother house in about five years. Please know you are in my prayers.
Thanks for sharing your personal journey with us.
Janice Marie Johnson, R.S.M.

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Mary Ann August 11, 2020 at 4:32 pm

Thank you for your wonderful messages each week. This one really hits home. I am packing boxes and all that goes with it. I will be moving early Sept. I have lived in this home for 30 years, 21 of them alone since losing my husband in 1999. It certainly is a big job. I am fortunate to have my 4 children and their families within 8 miles of me. What a blessing that is!! As usual you pick the most wonderful song to go with your topic, I will be playing this one again.
My prayers are with you, Sandy and JP as you face a new journey in this life. That is what I’m telling myself as I prepare for mine. God is so good at all times. Couldn’t do it without him!!!

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Ilene August 11, 2020 at 4:42 pm

Here’s a new quote for your file regarding roses. I had to move from a house right after I planted big beautiful roses. The kind that smell so good. I hope the new owners enjoyed them. They were planted with love.
As long as I had my books and music and beloved cat, I was ok. Each house I moved into had something to offer some good some not so good.
After leaving the house where my son spent the second half of growing up was the hardest. That was a big change. I had a good cry because I knew this was a new chapter. And it was with many new challenges one day at a time.
Now here’s the quote… God has given us our memories that
we might have roses in December.
J.M. Barrie
Don’t forget your box of wise sayings.
My prayers are with you and all on this lovely blog.
Ilene

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Sister Celeste Albers August 11, 2020 at 8:59 pm

Dear Melannie, I too am moving out of our wonderful old house in Great Bend, working with two other sisters, and in the past three months I am moving to our Motherhouse where I work with another one of our Dominican sisters to do all of the music for our sisters. For twelve years since I moved to Great Bend, I drove about a mile to work and take care of the music. Now I am grateful one of the other sisters who lived with me is now helping to bring everything to my new room at the Motherhouse. I have wonderful memories of my time there, but now I know it is time to live full time at the Motherhouse. We are so grateful that even in the pandemic we have been able to sing and be with each other for our Word and Communion services on Sundays and two other days during the week. Starting in September we will be able to have Sunday Masses in our chapel, but not yet with visitors. We wait for that day because we have about 15 people in the Parish a mile from us, who love to celebrate Mass with us every Sunday. My greatest gift is to be able to celebrate all of the gifts that our Loving God gives us each day!

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Patt Germann August 12, 2020 at 11:07 am

My husband of 53 years and I have lived in 14 different places…the most anywhere has been here in this house we designed and built 19 years ago. Lots of good-byes over the years but lots of new friends we would not have had. 12 different parishes — another community we had to get to know in several places. Once at a retreat I was asked to say what I thought one of my most essential “gifts” is and it didn’t take much thought to say “flexibility” (not the physical kind). I have friends in all the places I lived because I put myself out there and met people and connected. There are blessings to having lived 40 years somewhere certainly, but there are blessings in being (as my dad said), a gypsy. Good luck Sister — God has good things planned for all of us.

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Janet August 13, 2020 at 10:41 am

Good luck on your move. Sending prayers your way. I moved to a new home a couple of years ago. It took me about 6 months to stop missing my “old house” but now this is home and I love it. Once memories are made in a house it becomes “home.”

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Deb Carlin August 13, 2020 at 1:32 pm

DEAR MELANNIE,

THANK YOU FOR THE LOVELY THOUGHTS. WELCOME HOME TO CHARDON. I WILL BE RIGHT DOWN THE HALL FROM YOU.
DEB

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Pat August 13, 2020 at 11:22 pm

I love this reflection, Melannie. It rings true for many of us who have lived in what has been our home for many years & must inevitably face transition of moving. Thank you for sharing your feelings so honestly.
It gives us who must experience a move much hope.

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Ken Locken August 13, 2020 at 11:35 pm

Dear Sister Melanie, I pray that God will guide you every step of the way on this new journey in your life. Thank you as always for your inspiring reflections.

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Michelle Bookmeier August 14, 2020 at 8:34 am

Letting go…that is what resonated with me. More like jumped out and smacked me on the head. (wink)

These last few weeks have been all about letting go. 1)My Grandma Sturtz died July 31st. She was 95 and had lived and loved lots and well. Her funeral was August 6th. 2)We (my family) had to move her belongings out of her assisted living apartment. It was awful because of COVID restrictions. 3)Emotions were running high and tempers flared. My husband got angry with my mom about, well in defense of me. The sorting of things-it sucks(sorry). All that tension is still hanging around. 4)Then Iowa gets nailed with a derecho on Monday the 10th. My parents place took a hit. They had a grove of trees that my niece from WI calls the forest. Over half of the trees came down on the house, the machine shed, the yard, the driveway…Just so much hurt and frustration that needs to be let go.

But.

God has held us tight through all of this-Grandma died so peacefully and did not have to go to a nursing home. She was smiling and talking about the beautiful day minutes before she died. An altered book I had made her, that I thought was lost, was found and is on my coffee table. So much laughter while looking at photos and telling stories. The storm? No one in my little corner of Benton County was injured. Other than no power, emotionally drained, and a whole lot of cleanup-everyone is fine.

Letting go is hard. I have never been very good at it. Guess because it is a change. However, in my not quite 50 years, most changes have led to some interesting adventures, new friends, and more focus on how God is and wants to use me. I wish you a joyful move and much peace in the process.

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Mary Jane August 14, 2020 at 2:58 pm

Melannie,
You describe so vividly the feelings of leaving what one has known, its comforts, its precious stories, its opportunity for lifegiving participation
and daily growth as well as the anticipation of making a home in another
place that accommodates a much larger group where responsibility for
home- making is shared differently.
Thank you for naming the inside pull and push that accompanies leaving
one home and moving into a another residence. The pull and push make peace with each other and something new is born. With courage and trust,
one looks forward to that revelation hidden in the Loving Mystery.

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Janis August 19, 2020 at 1:34 pm

Dear Sr. Melannie,

We have NOT moved in 52 years! At 74 we realize that our 106 year old house is beginning to be a more difficult to live in. We keep saying we should move while we are still able to manage it. Our halting steps into the housing market has shown us that appropriate one-story living comes with a higher price than expected. Part of me is ready to move on, but the other part is saying “no”. This is the home we brought our children to. This is the house that has been our refuge. This is the community we have been an active part of. This is the parish that has been our spiritual home – for my husband 74 years, for me 52. Even that has changed. We went from being an individual parish, to a merger of four, to a merger of six in July. One church has been closed. All of the above narratives have brought tears to my eyes. My prayer has been and will continue to be that our heavenly father will show us the path he wants us to take. God bless all of you.

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Sr.Mary Beena S.N.D August 21, 2020 at 5:39 am

Dear Melannie, your reflections really touched me.. Moving is not so easy because we make a place home by staying for years and you have your favorite places that gave much joy, comfort, insights and what not and then truly people who have become part of your lives.. When i moved from Patna after eighteen long years after my teaching the seniors, then principal of Notre dame Academy, what I missed most was people who made my life much richer, enjoyable and easy..But what made it easy was since i knew months before, after each event or happening, I was saying good bye to that and finally I was ready with a heart full of gratitude to the good God and to the people who made everything possible in the best way..God’s grace makes everything possibe because His is there everywhere with the same open arms..

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Anne August 24, 2020 at 11:39 am

Love your music choices! So inspiring!

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