My friend said to me last night "Oh, you must be so glad to get out of there. I bet you were completely packed in a day."

The truth is, I have not even made a dent in our packing and we move tomorrow. All week I keep asking myself why I haven't been in a mad happy dash clearing out of this house. When she said that last night though (and why wouldn't she? can you even imagine what my friends have had to listen to?) I realized why every picture is still on the wall. Why every book is still on the shelf. Why every decorative towel continues to be folded all model-homey style.

Clearing the decorations off the tops of the kitchen cabinets, that my mom and I spent all day methodically placing, means we failed. Rolling up the beautiful throw rugs means our plan didn't work. Removing Chris' artwork from the walls means we're giving up. Throwing away all the scented candles says it's over.

Packing is admitting defeat.

I'm not ready to give up. But, I know I have to. And it's breaking my heart.

This is the sidewalk where my daughter learned to ride her bike. This is the entryway where Chris and I danced on our anniversary. These are the stairs I collapsed on when my father sobbed out the words "They found spots on my liver". This is the kitchen where friends gathered laughing while I made cocktails and Chris entertained with stories. This is the yard where the kids ran with the dog while we ate BBQ and talked and drank into the night.

This is the living room where our families exchanged gifts and ate and laughed and bonded every year.

This is the bedroom where I said prayers with my daughter every night. Where she learned to read.

This is the office where I opened the email that told me someone was willing to pay me to write.

This is the closet where I hid to relish the sheer joy of validation.

This is the bedroom where we end every day in each other's arms.

This is my home. It's more than these walls. It has held my life. And it's hard to close the door.


Janssen said...

What a touching and heartbreaking post. . .we're all rooting for you.

Butrfly4404 said...

Aw, honey! That was so bittersweet!

I really know what you mean. When I got pregnant, I decided the house we were living in - the one that my mom, my brother and I had BUILT, that we'd had longer than any house EVER and that I had stayed in even after my mom moved away - wasn't good enough for baby.

She sold it almost immediately to a developer. Who burned it to the ground. I question that decision ALL the time.

But in the end, we did what we needed to do. And I am happier with this house - even if it doesn't hold all those memories - it has years of memories to come.

Maybe do a little digital slideshow that talks about your favorite memories? (Because I KNOW you're just searching for more stuff to do!)

Beth said...

I never know what I'm going to get when I read one of your posts...a gut laugh or lots of tears or both. But I always know it will be extremely well written. This post is just another in a long line of wonderfully moving posts.

I'm sorry things are so hard for you right now. Hopefully everything will seem better after you have moved.

DianaCLT said...

I hear you, so loudly and so clearly. We're going to be there shortly - with the moving away...

I love our little house. I love that we moved in when I was pregnant with our son, and that we've now had our daughter here, too. I love that I have the best friends EVER here - and that was something I lacked in my hometown: good girl friends that I could trust to be there, trust with my true self, trust with my kids and my life. Yet - I want to go back to my hometown. That same hometown I couldn't get away from fast enough. That same hometown that I had some horrible growing-up years in. Still - that hometown which holds my parents and brother's family...that my son can't wait to move to (don't worry, mama, we can still visit our friends...)...that hometown which is infinitely cooler (yay!), yet often too foggy (boo!), which can bum me out greatly...that hometown which will allow us to have some land to go with our house.

Argh! I think I was going to try and same some words of solace to you, and now I've just bummed me out, along with anyone that reads this. Sorry! Anyway, Lena, I UNDERSTAND your feelings!!!!

Anonymous said...

Just keep in mind how many new wonderful memories you'll create in the new home.

Mr. Brightside said...

Doesn't sound like failure to me. In fact, I can't think of a greater manifestation of success.

islaygirl said...

when my ex and i split up, we had to sell the house we had spent years planning to buy. i was so sad, for so many of the reasons you mention -- where my little girl learned to walk, had her christmases, etc. no matter what you say, you guys didn't fail. it's just life. and you guys are resilient and you're moving on. xx

chirky said...

I know that you'll make as many new memories in your new home as you did in this one. Just think: no more desert! You're back to the ocean! Which you're afraid of!

Antique Mommy said...

Well all that is true, but all those places will remain in your heart forever. And there is so many new memories just waiting to be made in your new place. Look up! Something wonderful is waiting for you just around the corner...

Missie said...

We just sold our house and moved to this one a week ago. It was very hard to leave our tiny little place that I had learned to love.

It's okay to grieve for a house.

Anonymous said...

Everything has a way of working out. As long as you guys stick together, that is what counts.
You will have new happy memories in your new home.

superblondgirl said...

Even though I absolutely hate my apartment, I'm going to feel that way when we move. We've lived here most of the boy's life now, and it'll be hard to say goodbye to the rooms where he's grown from a tiny person who could barely walk into an almost-kindergartner. It'll be good, though, you're not happy there, and you'll make amazing memories in the new house, no matter how fondly you look back on the old one. It doesn't take long for any place you live in to become home.

lisa said...

we are moving in 2 weeks, to our first home - i am 37 and my husband is turning 40 on Monday. we decided it was time for us to grow up...

I've gone into my daughter's room to start taking the glow-in-the-dark stars on her ceiling down, to start boxing up stuff, and I get choked up. I see where we've laid for so many nights snuggling and watching the stars until we've both fallen asleep, and me waking hours later, feeling run over from laying half on the bed frame, but GOD so much more in love with my child if that's even possible? and as i type this, i cry.

We've lived in this apartment since she was just 1 year old - she just turned 5. It doesn't seem like that long, but it's been, well, a lifetime. We've gone through so many sicknesses with her, until they found and fixed her adenoids, and changed her life!

We've lived here through my very unplanned pregnancy, which ended up being twins ending as a miscarriage AND ectopic surgery. (who knew - i actually AM one in a million to have that happen!) We lived thru my cervical cancer scare in the same 6 months as the twins.

We lived thru my husband's midlife crisis - thank GOD that was short-lived, for his sake, lol.

I guess the short version is this - home is where you make it. You will always have memories, and I think that your memories and pictures will carry you through. You will have Chris every night in your new home to end your day in his arms. You will have Savannah to excite you in this adventure, because kids at this age love 'new stuff'. and you will have more happy and sad memories that will add to, not replace, the history & memories you've already made. That's how I'm telling myself it will be, and I hope it helps you too.

I wish you happiness tomorrow.

Tina said...

Best wishes as you say good-bye to your old home. And remember that when you close the door on this home...a new door - with even more laughter, fun, tears and joy...has just opened for you and your family.

Y said...

Even though our reasons for moving out of our homes were different, you know I can completely relate to what you've written here. (In fact, I'm sitting here crying so hard after reading it, because I know how deeply it hurts.)

I love you and my GOD, I'm sorry that all of this is happening to you and your family.

We need some goodness to come our way. We really do.

lepetitchic said...

That got me all teary-eyed at work! Very touching...

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