My Swing Sits Empty: Closing A Chapter of My Life from A Distance


It is funny how God works things out.

When I was doing this mini photo shoot on my roof, I never thought I would be using this particular picture as a lesson illustration.

I thought it might make a great Facebook cover photo, or a great WhatsApp profile picture... I never thought it would make a great lesson illustration though.

And yet, here I am exactly 7 months later, sitting here extremely grateful that I took the time to enjoy that swing.

You see, this swing isn't just any swing. This swing is a swing born of a father's love for his two little giggling girls.

We had been in our house in Senegal for quite some time already. At least four years, for sure, when we started nagging him non-stop to "please build us a swing".

One early Saturday morning he woke us both up and told us to come up to the roof with him, and we did. We spent maybe a whole of 30 minutes or so "helping" him build our swing.

Once it was hung up, Faith and I would spent countless hours in the early morning or late afternoon just taking turns swinging and giggling as we watched our sandy, brown, dirty feet smudge the smooth, white paint on the patio walls. The footprints left behind often looked quite long and skinny, just outright ridiculous sometimes.

And then as we got older, the rope gave a little more, the wood scuffed the tile floor a little more, until eventually we rarely went out to use it at all.

But this particular day, I had been hanging laundry on the roof and had been eyeing the swing. It had been at least a year or so since I last sat on it and now I'm really glad I did.

Trying to grieve and have closure from the other side of the ocean from the beloved country my heart still calls "home" has been less than ideal. Not completely impossible, but not easy either.

The reason I'm so grateful I took that time to stop doing the laundry for a minute and just swing like a little girl again is because now, I couldn't even do that if I wanted to. Evacuation made the little goodbyes like that impossible. The fact that I had taken these pictures at Christmas time, a whole three months before we were even considering evacuation, means so much more to me now.

 

Take a moment to do the little things now because you might not be able to later.

I may never get to sit in that particular swing again, but that's okay because I have some really cool pictures of me sitting in it and I have some really fond memories of using it with Faith too.

Even if you don't think you need to, just do that little thing. Just order that Tahitian Treat and spend a month enjoying it. Just swing on that swing and take a bunch of pictures. Just drive down to that lake. Just do whatever it is that might seem so little then but will mean the world to you later.

Just take that time.