I waited a few days to write this because I wanted to let things sink in and somewhat process.
On Wednesday, I oversaw the packing up of our entire house in Michigan and signed the papers to sell it. It was also Lesley's and my 18th wedding anniversary.
That cannot be a coincidence. Judaism attaches significant meaning to certain numbers. One of the most popular is 18. The Hebrew word for "life" is חי, which has a numeric value (one for the first letter, two for the second, etc.) of 18.
As the movers packed up and took away all of the belongings left in our house, as I removed the mezuzah from the front door and through other parts of the day, I kept thinking of so many events, big and small.
How could I not? This was the house Lesley and I bought a few years after we married. It was the house where our three children have lived our entire lives until we started what we thought would be a six month retreat in Florida. It was the house in which we had shared so many highs and a few lows and plenty of in-betweens over the past 15 years.
It wasn't just leaving the house but it was the end of a major portion of my life. Other than college and law school, I've lived within the same few miles my whole life. Throughout the day, I remembered so many moments of the previous fifty years, especially as errands and Waze took me past my childhood home and my first office.
As I drove out of town, my car was quiet. I needed it that way, as opposed to either being on the phone or listening to music or podcasts. I needed the time to let things wash over me. When all was said and done, though, I couldn't identify what I was feeling. I still can't. All I know is that it was overwhelming.
Fortunately, I still have the ability to keep in touch with and even see all my Michigan peeps. Not calling the Great Lakes State home, though, is going to take some getting used to.
I wish I had something more profound to say. Until then, I can only say that the Zwickers truly look forward to this next chapter in our lives, as well as those that will come after it.