When driving down to the new town in the weeks preceding the move, it didn’t seem like that long of a jaunt – especially because we did it multiple times in a week. However, in the trek back today, it seemed like ages separated the two cities.
If I had a therapist, I’m sure she’d call this cognitive dissonance.
The reality is that today was the first I was able to fully absorb what transpired over the past month. Because of my lack of ability to deal with emotions, huge transitions can be quite seamless for me because I shift into a task-oriented survival mode. I deal with the issues at hand and discard all those silly feelings that accompany. So when the husband says, “do we move?” I look at the facts: job, paycheck, goal. Then I create lists: what to pack, what to sell, what banks and offices and realtors to call.
People asked me several times over the past few months how I was doing, and I could honestly answer that I was doing fine. This had nothing to do with the situation being easy; basically, I’ve been operating like a leper for 7 weeks. A leper tends to bear gross, obvious flesh wounds that the rest of the world can plainly see are not good, but the nature of leprosy is that the person doesn’t feel her skin. The gashes are the result of bumbling around sharp objects and leaving her hand on the stove because she didn’t feel it burning off.
But today was like the moment when you get up off the floor and realize you were sitting in an awkward position because all of the sudden a tingling sensation rises in your foot as the blood starts to recirculate.
Dee handed me my box of office things, and as I left the building in which I’d spent countless hours roaming to and from the bathroom, I wondered when and if I’d ever return.
Then I had to return the garage door opener to the old house and I knew I’d never return. The day we moved out I operated at the height of Emotional Shutdown, so I hadn’t thought twice about running out the door. But today I stood in the empty rooms that had housed my children’s first days. I recalled what it looked like with our things and images came to mind of Husband arriving home and bursting through the door for the kids to squeal in glee (yes, he did this – just like the sitcoms). It wasn’t just house, it had been a home. It was the centering place for our family.
This was where life events – the mundane things of life that truly make up the memories we keep – took place. The movies we watched. The games we played. The books we read. The work we completed. The grass we mowed. The garden we tended. The balls we threw. The coffee we drank and the breakfasts we fixed. The friends we entertained. (Allow me to break into song with Seasons of Love).
Until the rooms in that house sat empty I didn’t fully comprehend what we were leaving behind. Though the books and coffee and balls all made the move with us, the memories of the past are tied to that place. I realize that new memories and beginnings are exciting and that we have great hope in our new surroundings – we love the new house and believe the new town will be a great place to live. But that doesn’t erase the sadness of knowing that a certain phase of our life is over.
I don’t deal well with the fact that I can’t get time back. Re-dos aren’t allowed. I’m not talking about “oopsie” re-dos. I’m talking about going to bed at night knowing you lived a good day and anticipating that the next one, or seven, or 365, will share a similar look and feel.
So tomorrow we’ll rise and make pancakes and head to “the market” as H-boy calls it. We’ll weave about in our new town and etch new images into our hearts with the wonderful time we spend together. But nothing will replace the pictures of what transpired in our lives before we arrived.
And I’m glad that today I had a chance to truly feel the magnitude of what has gone before so that I can appreciate – and immerse myself in experiencing- what is yet to come.