September 2, 1983 I was nine months pregnant. I had a 4 1/2-year-old girl. My hubby was on what would turn out to be an 8 1/2 month deployment. On September 2, 1983, we moved into our home.
The home was not my dream house. It was not what I had imagined living in. But, live in it, we did. Our girls were raised there. They had their birthday parties there, the slumber parties there. First dates. Prom dates. Food fights while making Christmas cookies. We laughed there, fought there, lived there.
On Friday, our house will belong to someone else. We are holding our breath that nothing changes, that the sale will continue to go through with ease. There is no reason, at this point, something should change, but, still, we hold our breath.
The decision to sell was an easy one for us. We made the decision and that was that. We decided on a realtor, which was an easy thing also. He faxed the papers and we put our signatures on the papers. That is when it became hard for me.
After signing the papers, we took our puppy for a walk. As we walked up the hill by our house the tears started. The tears weren’t the gentle falling of tears that are poignant. NO, these were heart wrenching sobs that escaped violently from deep within. Hubby was stunned. I was stunned! He gently asked if the tears were tears of sadness, of relief or of joy. I realized they were all the emotions. Relief that we no longer would have to be responsible for property thousands of miles away. Relief that we would no longer have to deal with dead beat renters. Relief that we did not have to worry with each fire season. Joy is still laying dormant in my emotions, though. I know it is there, it just hasn’t come out yet.
The sadness was the emotion I was not expecting. It has followed me in the weeks since we signed the papers. It became clear once more when I saw the pictures of the house when it was for sale. The rooms that had been filled with life and laughter and family looked sad and alone. The decks that we had sanded over and over looked forgotten. The bedrooms belonging to our daughters looked empty. No clothes were piled on the floor, no half empty water bottles were lying around.
I looked at the pictures and heard the echoes of a life. Echoes of a family that once lived there. Echoes that are now memories to cling to.
I know that this is a new season of life for us. It is an exciting time for us. Changes are happening everywhere. Good things. But, my heart is a little broken and it is hard to say good-bye even to something you were ready to say good-bye to.