Monday, November 17, 2014

Time to Let Go

This past Saturday was the end of an era in my life. It was good, and yet it left me feeling a little melancholy.

Last summer, my youngest son and his wife came for a visit for several days. Because we live such a distance from each other, we tend to pack a lot into every visit, and this was no exception. We went to an art museum. We took in some movies, both at the theater and via DVDs. We talked and laughed and just generally got caught up on each others' lives. My son and I quoted scenes from movies, one of our favorite pastimes. It was a good visit.

During this visit, my son made good on a promise to get his files off his college computer and put them on a flash drive. This computer had been stored in a closet at my house since he graduated with his bachelors degree in 2004. Yes, that's ten years. He has long since replaced it with newer and better computers a couple of times. It would seem like I would be overjoyed at the prospect of being able to finally get rid of such an archaic piece of technology. However, I had mixed emotions about it.

As his mom, I still remember the summer after he graduated from high school, and the trip that he, his big brother, and I took to a computer store to purchase his first brand new computer. You have to understand, all through his high school years we only had a word processor that he did all his papers on. It's hard for us to fathom now, but this was the late 90s and the internet was still a novelty. Most of us didn't have it in our homes yet. So the excitement was high that summer day when we loaded up my small, compact car with his new computer. Because his new purchase was still in boxes, it filled the car to capacity. This brand new, state of the art, Windows Millenium Edition operating system computer with its 30 GB hard drive was massive...and the best thing since sliced bread at that moment in time.

Yes, it only had thirty GB. Since the computer I had just bought for myself a couple of months before had a 4 GB hard drive, this seemed to me to be loaded with more space than he would ever need. This makes me smile a little. My phone has a bigger hard drive than my first computer did.

I will never forget that hour long ride from the city where we bought the computer to the town where he was going to college. He was sandwiched into the back seat with no room to move, and barely enough room to breathe. I can't remember now why we didn't put some in the trunk, but it was probably because it wouldn't fit. 

We finally arrived and got it all set up.  He was so proud of that computer, and so thankful that God had provided for him so well. It served him well, all four years of college. 

And then it ended up in my house, where it has lived for the past ten years.  

Yes, I'm a sentimental slob about some things. Anything to do with my children usually touches me very deeply. I knew it had go, and I was ready for it to. I was just waiting for him to get his files. He bought a 32 GB flash drive and put them on it. The flash drive has more storage than the computer did, because technology has evolved so much. 

When I learned that a technology recycle drive was happening in my town, I knew I had to remove the dinosaur from my laundry room. I loaded it into the trunk of my car and drove to the school where the e-waste recycling items were being collected. They had it all unloaded quickly and I was on my way. 

I am not second-guessing my decision to e-waste my son's outdated computer. I have no doubt whatsoever that I did the right thing, but it's still a little bittersweet. As I drove away from the recycling center, my car was lighter, but my heart was a tiny bit heavier, just for a little while.

I'm over it now, though.

Thanksgiving is next week, so I believe the timing for this is no accident. God has taught me something about being thankful, and I want to share it. When my son needed college tuition, housing, and even a computer, God provided, as He always does. We have to learn to receive His provisions with thankfulness, always mindful that every good thing in our lives comes from Him. And when the season for that item is finished, we must learn to let go of it with grace.

Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving! 

"God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 NASB