Lots of mixed feelings this week, closing up the house and saying goodbye to our life on Cedar Street. Reprinted below is the text of an actual letter I wrote to my sweet neighborhood to say goodbye.
An Open Letter To My Neighbors, Upon Saying Goodbye
My family and I have moved everything out of our house on Cedar Street to embark on a new adventure halfway around the world. We’re moving to Scotland for three years where Taido plans to get a PhD at the University of Aberdeen.
As we have packed up and let go of so many things this summer, I have asked God for the strength to leave a place we love so dearly, and a place where we have been so dearly loved.
Since I don’t know when I will have the opportunity again, I want to thank you.
Thank you for your gracious understanding as cars lined the street and people poured in and out of our house. Thank you for being a part of a safe place for our kids to play outside, to walk to and from school and church. Thank you for slowing down when our little ones were learning to ride their bikes and tossed footballs to one another in the street. Thank you for every kind wave, for every hello, and especially for every time you looked the other way from our eye sore of a front yard.
As I leave, I cannot help but be struck by all the ways I have failed to be a good neighbor.
It’s not my lack of grass that I regret, it’s my lack of kindness.
I am sorry for the way I have flown by without a moment to spare for you. I am sorry for all the joys and sorrows in your life that I have missed by not being brave enough to get to know you better. I am sorry for forgetting even your names. And I am sorry for the times you’ve had to listen to me yell at my kids.
I hope you will forgive me.
I am especially sorry, because when I look back at our move to Cedar Street eleven years ago, I remember that I longed to be a source of light and love and everything that is good. I prayed that this house, which was a blessing to us, would also be used to bless.
When we moved back to North Little Rock after a season away, we were determined to live in this neighborhood. We wanted to send our kids to school right across the street from Fellowship North, where Taido was working. We wanted to be able to walk or ride our bikes to school and church.
We wanted God to use us to bring light and love to this little corner of the world.
And neighbor, our house has been filled with love. Prayers have been heard and answered. We have shared laughter and tears in this place. We have broken bread and played silly games with many friends in this house.
But still, I wish I had invited you into this house we have loved so much.
As we leave, I pray the spirit of our home will continue to flow from within it, that whoever lives there next will bless this sweet neighborhood. I know that they, like us, will have their own journey of life, love and learning on Cedar Street.
Thank you so much for being my neighbor.
With so much love,
PS If you want to keep up with our journey in Scotland, you can sign up for our family’s monthly updates here.