Monday, September 10, 2012

(NOT) READY TO MOVE ON

by Kate Collins


As the 2nd anniversary of my husband’s passing draws nearer, I’m coming to the end of another chapter of my life. I’m moving.

It was a well-considered move that my children have been encouraging me to make for a year. I’d searched for the perfect place for awhile but had never found anything that felt right. Then one day, on a whim, I stopped by a model home in a new development near my present abode. It’s a condominium home, meaning I won’t have to worry about lawn maintenance, outside house maintenance, or snow removal. It has all the modern amenities, even the granite countertop I’ve always wanted. It even has an office for me.

The ranch-style house, less than half the size of my present home, was sunlit and open yet still cozy, its size a definite change from the huge, rambling two story I’ve lived in for the past 15 years. I liked it so much I went back four times, until, encouraged by family and friends who went to see it with me, I gulped hard and took the plunge. Since last March, I’ve watched excitedly as the house took shape. It was a project for me to work on and make my own. Now it’s almost done. My closing will be in just a few weeks.

But I find myself dreading the move. It terrifies me to think of leaving my beautiful, familiar home. How do I detach myself from this place where I’ve spent my entire married life, the house my husband and I remodeled slowly into our dream “castle”?  

I’m so emotionally attached to this house that I can still see my beloved Greek standing in the kitchen making his famous Greek salad that he prepared every evening while I cooked dinner. I can still see him sitting in one of our matching easy chairs in front of the TV, waiting for me to join him. I can catch a glimpse of him doing yardwork outside my office window. I can almost hear the back door slam as it would when he came home from work. I can even catch the slight scent of his Drakkar Noir in the bathroom over his sink and remember how he’d rub it into his hands and pat it on his face every morning.

Once I leave this house, I’ll have only the memories of those things. Will that be enough or will I ache for the places where these things actually happened? Will I start to forget? Will I long for my old house so much I can’t enjoy the new?

I found out Friday that my closing date scheduled for next week has been delayed indefinitely because the local utilities company hasn’t been out to run electrical wiring to the house. I breathed a sigh of relief. A reprieve.

It won’t last forever, I know. Nothing does, as I’ve so painfully learned. The day will come when I have to transition to this new home, to this new period in my life.  Psychologically, I won’t be able to pretend I’m half of a couple any longer. It will be me, just me, starting again.

If you have any advice, I'd love to hear it.