This morning I stood by the kitchen door and said good-bye to one of my teens as she left for school (summer school). We had just hugged and I was watching her walk away, knowing that by the time she got home this afternoon I would be gone from Sandal House. I began to cry as she walked on further and her son turned towards me and waved good-bye.
I know this isn't the last time I'm going to be seeing them, or some of the other teens I've known over the last year, so I didn't think leaving would be so emotional. Yet, today as I finish my packing, cleaning and other odds and ends I find myself breaking into tears.
Cleaning the kitchen I remembered the meals I fixed there with different girls. Picking up toys from the living room floor I remembered romping around with different children, and their delightful giggles. Upstairs I packed clothes that had belonged to a teen who left suddenly (not even taking all her belongings) and I remembered different challenges I faced with some pretty lost teens. This whole house is filled with memories, the good and the bad.
As I prepare to leave Sandal House I lift up praise to God for bringing me here in this last year. I can't say it's always been easy, but I do thank Him for how the teens and their children have helped to shape my life. I thank Him for the opportunity to be His instrument in helping these same teens and their children in a time of need.
I pray that Sandal House continues to be a home of peace and sanctuary for young girls facing one of life's most important challenges, parenthood.