an ode to nostalgia

here's to you grove city. despite all of the bad things that have reminded me how cynical i really should be, i remember my days on your campus very fondly.

truthfully i miss you. i miss the preseasons, the camaraderie, the treks up and down the halls at all hours of the day and night to visit with people who to this day know me better than anyone else. here's to the late nights studying, the walks in the snow, the early practices, the gedunk, to falling in love, to dinners at koopie's, the coffee grove, the admissions office and all of the drama and advice that spilled out its doors. for the talks in the chapel garden, the fro-yo, parking in siberia, barefoot soccer of the quad, snow football, shopping trips to the outlets, all-nighters at eat 'n park, saturday morning breakfasts w. dad, spending too much money at walmart, and mto sandwiches at sheetz. to trips to nationals and celebrating anniversaries, to flag football championships and soccer racquetball tournaments.

i can't even begin to explain all of the memories. i miss living down the hall from some of my best friends. i miss training for the promise of next season. i miss decorating my dorm room for christmas. i miss the professors who made me think through things, and really truly learn. i miss walking to my car in subzero temperatures and driving around with peter to look at christmas lights and dream about our future. i miss going to rachel's and eating pretzels with chocolate, and peanut butter pie instead of studying.

of course there are things about grove city that i won't miss, those things that still infuriate me even after being gone for four years. but then there are the gems. those things that i wouldn't trade for the world. the relationships that sustained me, and those that will be part of my life until my dying day.

tonight i am trying to remember christmas in its purest form - the way it was when i was younger and it still held snow and magic. christmas when i was in college was full of snow and celebrations, sled rides, gift giving and the end of a semester. until the last few years christmas was actually my favorite time of the year - i liked it even better than summer vacation.

this year especially though i haven't been able to get into a very festive mood. it feels more like an obligation than a gift. we watched white christmas tonight, decorated the house, and trimmed the tree. we made a special trip to the grocery store for candy canes and cookies and yet i still feel anything but festive.

at one point today i told peter we weren't going to celebrate christmas this year. sad, i know. i just didn't feel much like doing all the work to "celebrate". there are so many other things i want to focus on, and yet i need to get gifts, help plan and attend parties, still do my job and keep the house in order, etc. etc. etc.

with each passing year i understand the cynics more and more. and i hate that. i don't want to endure christmas, i want to enjoy it. and yet there's not enough time for anything.

this year has not been a lot of fun for us. that's not to say it didn't have its moments, and we weren't blessed at all because that is simply not true. however, it seems that 2009 has been more of a year to endure than to enjoy. there have been more than enough struggles, sadnesses, losses and tears to last us for the next few years.

today was a hard day for me. december 6th will forever be etched in my brain as grammy's birthday. and for the first time i can remember i didn't hear her familiar voice on the other end of the phone. for the first time on this day i didn't get to tell her how much i love her and how grateful i am that she turned another year older. because she didn't. for the first time, she didn't. for the first time in 93 years. and today, for the first time in months i've realized just how much i miss her.

"but blue has never been bluer,
true has never been truer,
honey never tasted so sweet
there's a song in the breeze
a million voices in praise.
a rose has never smelled redder
the sun has never been brighter
if i could find the right words to say
if you could look on my face
if you could just see this place
you wouldn't cry for me
{Mandisa's song"You Wouldn't Cry"}

tonight and always,
"the Lord bless you and keep you
the Lord make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you PEACE"
-Numbers 6:24-26


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