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.