Journal Entry, May 25, 2018
Have you ever had something you really loved but didn’t realize how much it meant to you until it was taken from you? Have you planned some amazing life change, like moving out or going away to school or even trading in a car, and for a moment the anticipation gave way, if only for an instant, to anxiety, nervousness, or downright dread? The incredible life change approaching is now shadowed by regret and even a hint of fear. I am having such a moment. We are selling our house.
The first house we bought together, this house of many sweet memories and also dark and painful ones. I thought it would be easy to leave it behind, to move on and experience the new and the better. As a person I am not very sentimental when it comes to personal belongings. I am what you might call a self-proclaimed minimalist. Perhaps this is an inherent trait, passed down to me by my ‘no-nonsense’ grandmother, or maybe I learned not to draw my value from what I own because I’ve never had very much. Whatever the case, we had always talked of the possibility of leaving this abode if it no longer suited our needs, and I was fine with that.
Well, that’s what I thought.
July 2017. Our first family camping trip to Rainier National Forest. He was hauling a friend’s borrowed pop-up trailer behind our Ford F-150 when he suggested it the first time. “We could sell our house and move into an RV, travel the United States.” I looked at him funny. Husband, are you nuts?! The realist in me needed some cold, hard facts to even consider the change as feasible. In the end he convinced me.
Which brings us to today. Months of preparation and months more to come. Time and energy poured into project after project as our tired-out rooms get some much-needed touch ups. Now they are cheerful and happy, but I am sad. Why am I sad? We have reached the point of no return. We have made steps, and large purchases, that cannot be undone. To pay for them we must give up our much loved ‘sticks and bricks’, and in that knowledge my heart aches.
Chaplain Peter, a wise and loving man I know, reminded me that grieving is ok, even if it is just for the home you are selling. “You made memories there, you did life in those rooms, and there is a strong connection made to the place where roots have been established.” Chaplain shared with me how his family also had to let go of a much-loved home. Walking from room to room they remembered the memories that had been created there, sharing their most treasured moments.
As I walk through our front door my mind goes to the most recent and fondest memories… being greeted every evening with excitement, exuberance and love. “Mommy! You’re home!” And watching as the baby learned first to smile, then to crawl, wave, walk, and run to me. Now he is my toddler, tall enough to open the door and welcome me in with toothy grins! (He is so proud of himself.)
Our yellow kitchen, now partially painted with cabinet doors off their hinges (its been months since we started painting in there), this has been a gathering place. Hours of canning in the summers, meals as a family, holidays celebrated together, and evenings of food, friends and card game fun!
Hot soaks in the bathroom at 9 months pregnant and feeling like a whale, then laboring with my boys, praying for strength to make it through. I have to be truthful, I labored ALL OVER that house, supported by the most gracious and attentive husband. Finally, I welcomed each boy-child, on his special birthday, into my arms in this very bedroom, protected from the cold dawn. Across the hall in their bedroom I spent many hours with our children. I cuddled with a much younger Emma on her brand-new toddler bed, or sat nursing whichever boy was the baby at the time. Many bedtime stories were read and so many bedtime prayers were heard.
Selling our house will not be easy. But thinking back through the last 6 years I realize all my fondest memories of this house are entwined with the memories of building our young family. The love, the pain, and the work it has taken to make us who we are. Together, Daddy and Mommy, Emma, Timmy and Edison. I cherish the moments that have been made and look forward to new opportunities that create memories.
And now to a new adventure, one that will bring us closer together as we learn, grow, experience. We are Diary of a Family, intentionally living life, being Intentionally Us. Read on to follow us on this experience of a lifetime.