Thursday, January 31, 2013

Farewell To A Home

We just moved out of  rental I am thrilled to vacate.
I decided to clean out the rent house by myself, and not hire anyone. My husband was skeptical, asking me to call the professionals in to do the job. "Hmph!" I growled. I was going to save the $200 or however much a clean out costs. Two weeks after starting the clean project (hey, the list was long and had silly things on it like wiping down all the cabinet shelves. I never do this, ever), I am finally finished. The house looks better than when we moved in and I like it more now.
As I cleaned out this "rented hastily at 38 weeks pregnant after moving from Massachusetts", I thought about how everything in the house irritated me. The crank windows, dim lighting, weird smells and the blood red walls in one of the bedrooms. Did I mention the wind in the bathroom every time a breeze kicked up outside? I was mopping the kitchen floor on my hands and knees with one of the swiffer mop inserts, I realized I had a little bit of sad rolled up into my taco of joy. Not sad for leaving this rental, but sad, relieved, and finally able to put the pain into words about our house --the home we had left behind before this. The house that was our forever home back North, just South of Boston. After being up there for 1.5 years, we grew to love it, aceepted that our children would grow up there and say things like "cahhh" for car and never utter "all yall". I made a mommy BFF, playdates were abundant, trips to museums, rides on the T, weekends on Cape Cod were too. Everything foreign about this strange place finally felt normal. We bought a house. We painted every room, pulled carpet, atrocious wallpaper, did I mention paint? The house had huge trees on a huge lot in a beautiful corner location. Perfection.
We drove out to the Cape on January 1. Celebrated a New Year, finally getting new carpet in the den, and having the nursery ready. I was 37 weeks pregnant. Perfection.
The next day, a tragedy led to an opportunity for us to move back to Texas, our home state. The new location would put us near family, and we had wanted our Texas back so badly just months before. But now...we were blindsided, confused, worried. I was burdened with sadness for the tragedy that brought this opportunity.
We decided on a Monday to return to our Texas. By Saturday, our material possessions were en route to Texas, and our house was up for sale. Our last night home, we slept on an air mattress and a couch to be sold with the house. We had an early flight, and the hired car came while it was still dark. There was still so much to be done. We were in Texas by noon.
Sure, I cried about the life we walked away from on that Saturday in icy January. I never once, in my mind or in real life, let myself walk through the freshly painted rooms and turn back to say goodbye. As we drove away I had to look forward to function. There was so much unknown ahead. Primarily, where would we live and would the baby come early? For one year, I have been stuck with sadness, missing the home that is no more.

Until today, scrubbing a floor I never really wanted, I was finally able to say goodbye. I realized in missing that home, I was denying myself the joy of a new one.


  1. Nicely written! I can TOtally sympathize... even though we didn't put down roots physically in Arizona, after we moved back, I realized how deeply I'd rooted myself in the many dear friends I'd made who were (and still are) like family. It took a full year to get over it and understand that moving back to Austin was a step forward, even though it felt quite the opposite. After going through all that, y'all have definitely been in my prayers the last few months, because I know exactly how it feels. But like you said, in missing something you may never have again, you're denying yourself the joy of the present. That's exactly the conclusion I came to as well, only you stated it so much better!

  2. Oh gosh, tears. I have felt the same before, it is so so hard to say goodbye for the unknown, especially in the military.

  3. I can completely relate. We recently went through a similar experience, I think I'm still working through pain of leaving our friends (that became family) in a hurry a few months ago.

  4. So well written! I'm glad you were able to close that chapter and hope you love your new home!

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