I made my last trip to the old house today. I put all the Goodwill items in my car to deliver. I took the shower curtain and the wastebasket. I took the rug from the front door. I had a friends son with me. Probably a good thing because I felt like crying like a baby. I didn’t want to embarrass him so I kept it together.
I didn’t see my favorite neighbor as I drove away. The neighborhood was pretty quiet. Most houses are decorated for the holiday, except mine. Its’ only adornment is the “For Sale” sign in the front yard. It should have a SOLD sign on it. Because it is. Sold. I left a basket of goodies for the new owner. We know ‘of’ each other. We have common friends. So I wanted to welcome her to her new home.
I wanted to tell her how to regulate the heat and how the linen closet door handle falls off. I wanted to tell her Mr. Yi is a great neighbor and while he is quiet, he is a good neighbor. I didn’t tell her any of those things. Because all of that is hers to find out for herself.
I wanted to tell her about all the great memories contained in those walls. I wanted to tell her stores of my Dad and Mom working to renovate my kitchen. I wanted to tell her my whole family built my deck on the weekend the preschool had a farewell for me when I left teaching. I wanted to tell her about how my family and I would sit and enjoy that deck when they came to visit at the right time of year. I wanted to tell her within the first three weeks of moving in Chicago had a 21″ snowstorm that blew a 5 foot drift up against my garage. I didn’t even own a snow shovel yet.
But she is going to make her own memories. With her own friends and family. It is going to be her home…no longer mine.
I’ve been thinking I lived there for 15 years. A friend recently posted on FB that she was celebrating her 16 wedding anniversary. Suddenly I remembered I moved in days before her wedding and had to hunt for my good shoes to wear to their wedding. So 16 years. You do a lot of living in 16 years. More amazing I’ve lived in that same neighborhood all through college, post college apartment living and my first house…37+ years. I had the same phone number for 30 of those years.
Have I mentioned I don’t always do well with major change?
I don’t regret this move. I like my new sweet little house. I love my attached garage and the fact that someone plows and mows and maintains the complex pool. But today it felt like grieving. Grief for the me I was. Grief, missing my Mom and wishing she could see my new place. Grief at all the last six months have thrown my way…our way as a family.
So tonight i decided to go with it. I cried and cried. I sat with no TV or music, by just the lights of the Christmas tree and tried to absorb the last two months. And I cried some more. A cat in my lap wondering what the big deal was.
Tomorrow is for celebrating Christmas with my employers and their kids. Excited kids followed by THE Santa brunch. Tomorrow is for trying to pack for my Michigan Christmas in a week. And finding my flip flops for the trip to St. Maarten that follows the week after Christmas. And it is all good and right.
Life is unfolding just as it should. I know it. But tonight is for trying to take in all the change. Tonight is for realizing I left ‘home” to move towards my new HOME.