I know it’s time to say goodbye. But it’s so hard.
You’ve been such a faithful friend these last twelve years.
I remember when our relationship began. It came in a time of crisis and disappointment for me. Your predecessor had brought many issues to the relationship and not always followed through. So when you came into my life, when you provided an experience of dependability and care, it was so healing.
You were always clear about what you could do. And you always followed through.
We’ve shared so many experiences, you and I. Because I mother such a large tribe, and because of the work you do, we’ve spent so much time together. We’ve shared many a long night when a kid was going through a tummy bug and going through a ton of pajamas and sheets in the doing. You were there through many a muddy, messy debacle. You fought valiantly for items that I thought were lost causes. You never allowed the stain of humanity to dissuade you from your cause.
We’ve been together through so many miles. From the Oklahoma prairies to our life on the island to our present living situation in the hip ATX. You’ve been there all along, a steady presence in the house, taking whatever has been thrown at you, working late into the night, humming happily as you went about your work.
And you were so good-natured about the things that really weren’t technically part of your job description but you curated anyway. The crayons left in pockets. The rocks and spare change. The occasional Barbie. That set of hearing aids that you graciously didn’t destroy. I don’t know how you managed and troubleshot with such good humor and gentleness.
But you did.
Looking back, I suppose I knew a few weeks ago that things had changed. It was in the subtle change of your tone, the fatigue you began to exhibit, the jobs left undone. I kept thinking that perhaps someone could help you, could create some ease and relief for you. But the professional diagnosis was made and there was no turning back.
I felt like such a traitor today, standing in a shiny venue, considering my options in a new partner. I kept finding myself drawn to those who reminded me most of you, echoes of your spirit, your ascetic, your profile.
It will be a challenge, this moving on.
For now, you stand silent in your usual spot, unintentionally accusing me in your brooding. By the end of next week, there will be a new sentry in your place, ready to take on the next fibrous challenge, the next lavage mountain. There will be a new relationship to navigate, new lessons of settings and features to learn.
But I want you to know.
I won’t forget.
You will always have a special place in my heart. Together, we have navigated the hampers of ten people, you and I. We have scaled the sudsy heights and we have ridden the spin cycle of a crazy season.
I will miss you, my Circa 2004 Washing Machine. I will miss you.