They started in the guest room, crashing through shingles and trusses and two-by-fours as if this old cabin were made of Lincoln Logs or Legos. They tore it wide open, leaving pink insulation dangling like ripped flesh.
And I think my heart tore a little, too.
We could save only a few things before the demolition crew arrived, for mold had destroyed almost everything in our little lakeside retreat. And yes, I know it’s just stuff, and I really do remember Lydia’s wise words: “It’s OK, Mom. People are more important than things.”
But goodbyes are rarely easy.
On a warm spring day in April, we tore down our little family cabin. And we bid farewell to that old Iowa State University jacket I always wore by the campfire,
and the first couch we ever bought,
and that ugly pink bathtub,
and Anna’s dolls,
and Scott’s crazy Hawaiian shirt still hanging in the closet,
and the first life-vest she ever wore,
and that nine-pound taxidermied walleye I caught,
and that kitchen table where our little birthday girl sat every June.
And, when I think about the sounds and the singing, I remember now that the Jimmy Buffet disc must have still been in the CD player when the trucks hauled it all away to the landfill.
The excavator lumbered forward, and by scoopfuls, left gaping holes in a place that knew only our joy. We know this is just stuff, but it’s the stuff from which memories were born.
And I think, right now — as I write and reflect — that it’s okay to cry a little.
We’ll miss you, Bela Vista.
Photo: Before the mold … back in summer 2008. Almost everything in this photo is now in the landfill, except for a few photographs and mementos.
Photo: Anna, Lydia and cousin Rachel. We treasure these memories.
Photo: Lydia’s catch of the day.
Friends, may your weekend be filled with sweet remembrances. And may you and I keep our eyes fixed on things of eternal significance. Yes, wise Lydia, people really are more important than things. We know that the things of this world will fade and falter and fail — even these very bodies we’ve been given.
“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”
— 2 Corinthians 5:1
RELATED POST: The story of the mold that destroyed our cabin.