Moving day finally came this week for the Sims family. Dear friends from church came over to help. It was a lot of stuff.
Boxes and boxes were loaded onto the truck; sofas, tables, chairs, televisions. By the time we got down to the beds the truck was filled. And the shed was still full of stuff, not to mention the garage.
Why do I have all this stuff? I found myself asking. I had spent weeks sorting it and taking it to the thrift store; wrapping it and boxing it up. And my final two days in NY were spent either cleaning it or preparing it for the truck. Captain Fun spent a chunk of moving day finding places to store the half that didn't make it onto the truck. And he had to rearrange the stuff that did get on the truck to make room for everyone's beds.
Stuff, I concluded, is running our lives.
We had quite a caravan down to Florida: Captain Fun drove the moving truck full of stuff and towed his car which was also full of stuff. Cory and Goldie rode with him-I think Cory got a kick out of riding across the country with his dog and his dad. Bethany, ever the trooper, made the three day drive with sisters Mary and Emma and cats, Stripes and Whiskers. And a trunk full of stuff. I drove my 12 passenger with Dorothy, Cory, Silas, Ben, Mom Dot--and more stuff.
Captain Fun went on ahead with most of the stuff; Bethany and I took it a little slower with the pets and kids. Just as we crossed into Florida (finally) a sudden downpour came, typical Florida weather from my understanding. I then came around a curve on I- 95 upon a traffic jam and had to slam on the brakes. Bethany was following me and swerved to avoid rear ending her pregnant mother--quick thinking in my estimation. As I watched helplessly in my rear view mirror, a car clipped her back left fender. Miraculously, all of us were able to pull to safety without a pile up. And the other driver was very kind (another small miracle). "I just got out of church," he smiled, "and my pastor just finished saying that sometimes things get worse before they get better."
As soon as we pulled over, I called Bethany on my cell. And what was my first question? Is all the stuff okay? Is there much damage to the car? Every parent knows the answer: "Are you okay?" I asked.
And why did all the stuff become so suddenly unimportant? Because the stuff that really matters is the stuff that life is made of.