Thursday, August 5, 2010

On the Last Week in Louisiana - Part Three

I'm sitting now in what tomorrow will not be my home, surrounded by an insane number of small brown boxes... mostly because I own an insane number of books.  It's a depressing feeling as I look around.  Usually I'm the first to remind people that we have to give up the lives we have, to have the lives we want... but this house has been more important to me than I'd realized. I don't think I've ever lived in any one place longer than I lived here.  I've moved about an average of every three years for my entire life, so there are few specific buildings that I actually feel any home-like connection with (although McVoy Hall at LSU, and the Loranger High Auditorium and Ag Shop are three).

This is the largest and nicest place I've ever lived, and this is where I've been both happiest and saddest, I think.  I lived here when an evil man destroyed my life as I knew it and threatened all I had.  I lived here while I recovered, readjusted my priorities, and learned to be happy with who, what, and where I am.  I lived here when I reconnected with countless friends, and finally made the effort to actually do as much community service as people seemed to assume I did.  I lived here when I finally got the Milton Berle episode of the Muppet Show on DVD, when I played Rock Band for the first time, and when I stayed up half the night with Debby and my three godsons sharing our imaginary friends' names, biographies, and current activities.  I used my imaginary friend from third grade, Bullwinkle the Very Hungry Bison. 

This is where I wrote my book, got it published, and sold it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  This is where I discovered the great music of Delain and the Fratellis, and ignored the stylings of Kenny Chesney.  This is where I learned my wife was pregnant.  This is where I watched the students of Gekkoukan High finally defeat Nyx (go, Akihiko!), and this is where I read the last Harry Potter book.  This is where I finally built the library I'd always dreamed of, and built and later disassembled a small pinball collection.  This is where I finally set up my Pigs in Space diarama.  This is where I annoyed friends and family alike with my new talent for bending forks, and where I got to tell everyone around me about the experience of walking barefoot on broken glass.  This is where I lived when the Saints won the Super Bowl.

This is where I lived when I realized that nobody, in all the long history of mankind, has ever stated on his deathbed, "I just wish I'd worked more hours and made more money."  This is where I lived when I started to make a real effort to be a greater part of my godsons' lives, to teach them what I could about what was really important in life (assuming I know the correct answer myself).  This is where I lived when I started reaching out to old friends, sometimes to help them, sometimes to ask for help, but always to have them as a part of my life.  This is where I lived when I came to understand that spending time with family isn't something to do because you're obligated to, but rather because it's something that's meaningful and important.

In 24 hours, this place will no longer be my home - others will live here.  And I'll be off to a new life I know I'm lucky to have, living in a beautiful (but much smaller) apartment outside Atlanta, learning to do the things I already love and make the world a better place. But I'm leaving a lot behind... not just my friends and family, as if that wasn't enough, and not just the Saints or the food... and not even just the Louisiana FFA Alumni, which came to mean more to me than I even imagined it would.  I think I'm leaving the place where I finally shed a lot of the bad habits of high school and college, and found out who I was really supposed to be.

I will miss this place, because I'm not sure I ever had a real home before.  But I plan to again.

Sorry... this is sappy for me.  Promise I won't do it again for a long time.

In other news, I had the opportunity to take a picture of my wife last night, seven months pregnant with twins (meaning she looks nine months pregnant), holding a white burlap sack and wearing nothing but a bra, panties, and miners' headgear complete with a lamp.  Surrealism personified.  No, you can't see.  She made me promise.


  1. It's not sappy when you write honestly from the heart.

  2. This might be my favorite post! I think I kind of know what you are going through, although my "leaving" was an office not a home, so I know it is different.

    Thanks for sharing the "sappy" stuff . . . please don't withhold more of it for too long.