Kneeling on the floor of a filthy pantry, I attempted to clean up after months of neglect, painting over what scrubbing alone wouldn’t help. Once filled to overflowing in what had been my first “grown up” house, it now sat empty, a sad reflection of a broken home. My tears surprised me a little. I had grieved the loss of my marriage so thoroughly and therapeutically. I have moved on and cannot recall a time in which I’ve ever been so happy.
Perhaps it was the extreme contrast that did me in. Here I was, alone in my former marital house prepping it for sale, while phoning in arrangements for a pending move into a new house with a new love in anticipation of a new life. Hoping again for the very promises which once resided here: Home. Family. Security. Happily ever after. Not “perfect after ever”—but content and dedicated to embracing the good and the hard of life together. Of setting the table for family gatherings, forging new memories, hosting friends, training up a child and making toasts in celebration of it all.
After nearly two years of transitional housing and a life undergoing almost constant change, my longing for home is palpable. I pause to reflect and my senses are filled with images of Christmas trees yet to be unpacked, quiet times with coffee by the fire, smells of family dinners and the sounds of many loved ones gathered. Oh, yes, and overhearing from the other room when my little guy giggles at getting away with riding the stair rail when mama isn’t looking. And I am more certain than ever: it is not the house that makes a home. It is the hope you nurture with the people you love that does. At the moment, I’ve got an abundance of both … houses (two being sold and one being purchased!) and the hope for home. I am so very grateful. And open for buyers who will appreciate an especially clean pantry.
Photo (Flickr CC) by liz west