Enough Said

Enough Said
A sampling of my columns and why the hell is my picture SO big?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

When walls talk, the heart listens

I never thought moving would be so hard. Not the actual moving part, though the packing and hauling is a bit daunting, it’s the mental separation from here to there I’m finding difficult.

My husband and I have lived in this house for twelve years. That’s not a long time considering that my husband was born and raised in the house we moved from to come here. Because I knew this house would not be our ‘forever home’, too big but perfect for our family’s needs at the time, I held off loving the house and stepped back from connecting. I considered it simply a means by which to house and eventually send our family on their way. But a lot has happened here. Like they say about talking walls: if these walls spoke it would be of life passages as casual conversation, of love and heartbreak as music.

One high school graduation, two college graduations as well as two graduate school celebrations, engagement parties, two wedding showers and weddings. And, add to that two baby showers and family gatherings to honor the births of those two little girls who have graced our lives in a way I never even imagined.

On one excruciatingly sad day in January an after-funeral celebration of my mother-in-law’s life was held here. She was a woman who proved that angels do indeed walk this earth. That we had a place big enough to gather all who honored her was a privilege.

Because we had the largest house, holidays were often celebrated here by the entire family along with a myriad of friends. These memories, these pictures pressed into the intangible plaster of this home will always be here, until those of us who experienced this special place are gone.

In the past 12 years I have cleaned and packed up three homes of family members who have passed away. The whole sorting and packing process is very similar to what I am doing now with my own things. I remember going through my mother’s life-leftovers. My late father’s sweater hanging on a hook and his slippers perfectly aligned nearby on the floor by the back door were easy to understand, but old greeting cards and pieces of broken jewelry I never saw her wear, why save them?

Because I am hoping this will be our last move, I realize that my daughters will be the next people who will go through my stuff. The seemingly unimportant is wrapped in tissue and stored away in labeled Staples’ cardboard file boxes because, like the cards and broken jewelry, they evoke memories that are too precious to give away or throw away. I may never unpack some of those boxes, and that’s okay, because I know they are there to remind me of the time before now, became then.

Our closing is in about a month but because the physical aspect of moving is, for us mature types, a big deal, I started the process early. Living with only our day to day kitchen essentials has enlightened me to the idea that we have too much stuff. My husband’s task, as a cabinet maker and independent contractor, has him going through this process in his workshop. The monumental undertaking of that project far outweighs what I am doing
So, as I attend to what is required, the memories of this house flood my heart and mind each time I pick up and pack. This is a beautiful home which is getting a young family to paint its walls with new conversations. Our new house is a smaller version of what we have here, and though I will miss this house terribly, I am ecstatic to make new memories in a place, though vacant and silent for some time, speaks to me as my “forever home.”

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