As I was finishing cleaning out the house we have inhabited for almost 22 years. I looked around at the empty space and realized it is a crucible in which my family was formed. Does that sound extreme? It has been.
Suddenly, alone in the house doing the last of the vacuuming, I notice I am crying. I am crying because I thought moving would be different. I thought it would organized and calculated and there would be a more formal way of saying goodbye to all we have known. I expected a flamboyant and final farewell. But instead, we literally abandoned ship on a Friday afternoon in the middle of this ‘Covid-19 Crisis’ . The uncertainty about our ability to rent a truck, find moving help or to what extent the ‘stay-at-home’ orders would infiltrate our lives, Dennis and I made a last ditch effort to get the most important items and our beds moved in the back of his pickup truck. Moving was unsettling and the ‘world pandemic’ produced anxiety and uncertainty at a completely new level. I have felt as though I am free-falling for a couple of months now.
And just like that, we moved into our new house with no official way to welcome ourselves or our friends. No housewarming party or celebration – as is our style. No fanfare. We just did. It is not how I pictured any of this.
Unhappily, I discover that I am also crying because I’ve been left alone in the house. Normally, that would be a very welcomed situation for me, but I have become accustomed to four very different walls and seven additional people with me at all times. We have developed a specific choreography to our isolated days, and right now, deviating from it seems wrong and uncomfortable. That in itself is distressing. I am upset that I am alone, and then upset that I am upset about it. It’s a vortex.
I turn back to thinking about our little house. The house meant everything to us. It took us a few hours to move into it as we owned absolutely nothing. Ethan and Dennis and I had all the space we needed and I was pretty certain that we would not have any other children.
<Insert laugh track here>
If there is anything that defined this house it was children and parties. My sister’s kids and mine were raised like siblings here. Picnics on the driveway were a common occurrence. There were birthday parties, countless holiday parties and a New Year’s Eve party that hosted 70 people! There were sleepovers of all types, children who joined us for 1 night or several weeks through foster care. Once, adoption papers were signed at our dining room table as there was not another feasible location for the family to do it. We homeschooled our kids here comfortably. Our family was ridiculously happy in this house. The 1400 sq. ft. of that house lived super-BIG and we could not have asked for one more thing.
Except for a BIG, new house for a new chapter in our lives! I can’t wait to tell you her story. It’s amazing.