I started this blog to keep my church, friends and family updated on my year volunteering in Katrina recovery with the Presbyterian Church (USA). I've now signed on for a second year working in disaster recovery and another year living in Mississippi. It's getting good....

Saturday, July 21, 2007


The reality of this year's rapidly approaching end is starting to hit hard now. My roommate Linda moved out yesterday. Bummed doesn't begin to cover it. Brenna's been gone for three weeks. It sucks. These two women have been my friends, roommates, confidants, inspiration, reality-check, study aids, partners in crime, and support system this year. They are my Mississippi sisters and I miss them dearly. Already. More than I imagined I would.

Before coming to Mississippi, I lived alone for several years and loved it. I swore that I'd never have roommates again. I loved leaving my bed unmade but keeping the bathroom spotless. I made popcorn and cookies for dinner and never felt guilty about how late I stayed up watching bad TV. There were rainy Saturdays when I never left the apartment and spent the entire day without speaking to a single soul.

But I am by nature a social beast. I love being around my favorite people and , with the exception of a few rainy Saturdays, rarely choose alone time if there is an option available to chat, dance, play, walk, eat with friends instead. Living alone, however, I managed my extroverted lifestyle on my own terms and my own time.

Living with five roommates was not something I looked forward to about this YAV program. These people were going to cramp my style, mess up my kitchen and generally annoy me, I was sure. I was so excited to come down here to work and take a go at actually living the church life I talked, read, prayed about and, well, it came with this communal living part that I was going to have to tolerate in order to participate in the experience. eh.

Somehow, through all the family dinners, roller-skating adventures, football gatherings, late-night popcorn binges, spontaneous parties on our porch, heart-to-hearts on the back staircase, open house BBQs, pillow fights, getting-ready marathons, gumbo conversations, road trips, practical jokes, Gilmore/OC dates, and random conversations I fell in love with these people and they became a new family.

I was a girl who arrived in this broken town quite broken myself. The five angels I lived with helped me to open back up again. They challenged me to consider new ideas and explore new questions. They tried to teach me how to really forgive and gave me ample opportunity to practice (he, he). They forgave me. They walked with me down the road of hope. They listened when I needed their ears and they held my hand when LOST spooked me. They gave me books. They gave their hearts. They lifted me up on hard days and cried with me on the dark days. They taught me lessons I should have learned ten years ago. Again. And again. And yes, they did still, at times, annoy the crap out of me. They let me annoy them. They loved me anyway.

I will leave here a better person for living with them and learning from them. And I know that they are all going on to do great work and spread great love. I'm just going to miss them so much. So much.


St. Casserole said...

Come play with us.
We love you, too.

Linda said...

you are my executive presbyter of boogie, and i love you! this year would not have been the same with out your friendship and love...
i miss you too!

Linda said...

"Nothing is sweet or easy about community. Community is a fellowship of
people who do not hide their joys and sorrows but make them visible to
each other in a gesture of hope." - Henri Nouwen

emily said...

erin, i just got around to reading this and it is beautiful...because community is beautiful!