By Liz Maratta
Within the last few weeks, I’ve had to say goodbye six times. I have given hugs, best wishes and taken last pictures together with six of my former CAP community members. I got a lump in my throat and an ache in my heart each time.
Obviously, I’m a sensitive person. I got attached. I shouldn’t have. But, then again, if someone has inspired me with love and admiration, I consider myself blessed.
The thing is, I feel blessed six times.
To be clear, the six blessings have come in the form of David, Courtney, Julia, JimBo, Karen, and Micole.
These six amazing individuals have graced my life with their presence. I enjoyed their company for two months now. Each one came with their own story of how and when they learned of CAP and what drew them to serve people in need in Appalachia.
Each one blew my mind with how they contributed to CAP’s mission for a year or more and what their plans were going forward in their lives. They are each amazing and they all touched my heart in ways I couldn't have imagined.
Saturday, Micole was the last of the six to leave our Rockcastle Volunteer Community. I felt that tug on my heartstrings again same as I did for the other five that have left within this past month.
This time was different though. As I sat down to write on my laptop, I looked over on my night desk at a rose I had recently picked from our garden and put in a vase. The rose is breathtakingly beautiful with its iridescent pink folds of petals and magnificent beauty. It’s hard not to stare at it in wonderment.
I’m about to give you a biology lesson on roses. Please bear with me and follow along. It will make a point. Roses and flowers are living proof of how instinctive nature is. The bloom cycle of a rose is that it starts out as a bud, grows, and then opens up its petals in full regalia to grace us with its beauty. In due time, it instinctively knows to fade away and make room for the next generation of “budding” roses to bloom and adorn our natural world.
The point being that once I experienced this little exodus of sorts of six CAP housemates moving on, it forced me to reflect upon how people weave in and out of my life. I’ll miss them.
Much like with a rose that blooms and then fades, I made the connection between roses blooming and my former housemates moving on. I am so grateful to have met these CAP volunteers. Their service has come to an end, but they graced my world and the people they helped, with their beautiful kindness and caring. They colored this corner of Kentucky with their good will.
Imagine life without roses? I sure can’t.
I also can’t imagine my life without having had David, Courtney, Julia, JimBo, Karen and Micole in it. My life was made beautiful and rich because of their beauty and glory.
Just like a rose!
Rather than focusing on the “loss” of my six housemates leaving CAP, I’m directing my attention on how fortunate I’ve been that these six wonderful people “bloomed” in my pathway. My wish is that as they continue to spread their petals of love throughout their life journeys, that life blesses them with bountiful gifts of joy, love, and health!
Liz began her year of service with CAP in June, leaving her job in New York as a freelance writer/editor. She is serving as an AmeriCorps Family Advocacy/Housing Caseworker and living in the Rockcastle Volunteer Community. Opinions expressed in volunteer blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of CAP or the Volunteer Program.