I came home this afternoon to a “For Sale” sign in the yard. I had actually been a bit worried about my reaction. This was the house that Will and I wanted to make a home out of. Have another baby in. Live the future we had planned. None of those things ever came to pass. It is still just a house. There is no baby and never will be. Ironically we’d never had even the slightest chance at a future from the day we first met because he was already dying.
There was a message waiting on the machine already from the realtor who had found the buyer for our last house asking could he bring clients by later and could I call him to confirm. I decided to take that as a good omen.
I would love for this house to be sold in a matter of weeks. It has held me prisoner long enough. It was meant to be someone else’s home and future, I think, and I have just been “keeping it warm” for them. But I am realistic enough to know that finding a buyer in the current market could take a while and, regardless, we are leaving for our new home in Canada with Rob mid-June.
All this packing and realtor stuff has brought back memories of selling the last house and all that was going on at the time. The house we were living in was mine. I had bought it the summer before I met Will. I loved that house. I loved the area which was the original part of the suburb we live in. The neighborhood had been flooded out in 1993 and the house on my lot torn down and replaced with the tiny starter home I ended up buying. It was just a couple of blocks from the old shopping district. I could walk to the farmer’s market on Thursday evenings and over to the post office. There was a walking path not too far off that I did my daily running on. I had an old-fashioned front porch where I would sit on the steps and listen to the trees whisper to the skies on windy evenings in the summer.
When Will moved in, we put in a brick patio in the back and grilled out with friends on the weekends. Actually, we grilled all the time as soon as the weather was warm. He loved to grill. The epitome of the male stereo-type if you want to know.
We decided to sell and find a bigger place when our daughter was about 9 months old. Will was already quite sick but we were still choosing to believe the doctors who told him that it was stress and depression. I am not sure I ever really believed that but I know that by the time we had begun the process to sell the house, I didn’t believe it at all.
The house sold the weekend of July 4th. It had only taken about 4 weeks. By the end of that week, he had been placed on leave because of two accidents he had with his cube van. Ultimately they would fire him, but at the time I was so angry with him for keeping his troubles at work from me. I still sometimes wonder what he was thinking then but I doubt he had any clear comprehension of what was happening by that point as he was just weeks away from the point of no return physically and mentally.
The day we moved I had to forge his signature on some of the documents because he couldn’t really write anymore. It was obvious to anyone who talked with him, looked at him even, that he was very ill. Moving day was a blur of people and an overwhelming desire to throw my baby into my car and drive as fast and as far away as I could get.
I had loved this house the first time I had gone through but from the moment we were moved in all I wanted was to leave. I didn’t hang pictures on the wall. I stacked unopened totes and boxes in the basement that are still sitting there today. I just knew somehow that this was not permanent.
Selling feels right though I can’t deny that it is stirring up memories of times past. Feelings of being overwhelmed, helpless, lost, cheated, trapped. Not good times. But, they are just memories.