I feel like I am finally ready to tell you the story of our Havasu home.
It was actually the second home Joel and I purchased together. The first one was our "starter" home, the one we purchased when we barely had enough funds to be doing so. We lived there for almost 4 years while we saved for and dreamt of what was to be our "forever home" a mere two miles away from our current one.
Joel kicked cancer in the tail, went into remission, we did IVF, I got pregnant with TWINS and we started building our house, all in that order.
In the course of building our "dream home" I lost one of the babies and Joel's cancer returned. If there were really such a thing as "omen's" that might've been my first clue, life in our dream home was going to be anything but a dream.
Still we trudged on, determined to live out everything we had ever hoped for. We built Havasu from the ground up. We picked out every tile, every paint color, paid way too much for things that were "extra's" the should've been "standards"....but when it was all said and done we had done it. We got everything in our home we had ever wanted.
We moved into the house with 6 weeks until my due date which also ended up being 6 weeks until we found out Joel's cancer had returned. From the moment we moved in it felt like our home was joy mixed with sorrow. Everything attained, yet lost, all at once.
Still we trudged on...
We ended up having a year together in our "dream home". One year. 12 months. 365 days. (actually only 10 months if you count the fact that 60 of those days were spent with him in the hospital...but who's counting?)
After his death I swore I would never leave. That chair in the corner over there? That's where he once sat. That front door? That's the one he walked through after a long day of work. The reason our cabinets close so softly? That's because he put those soft, little, felty things inside each of them to make them that way.
I had to stay there forever, there was no other choice. That was OUR home.
Then a weird thing started to happen.
The things that were once comforting, became suffocating to me. That chair in the corner, the front door? Those were the things he would never see again. Those soft, little, felty things now made me angry. HE put them there. He was gone.
Simply put it was a HOUSE but no longer a HOME.
The "dream home"? Not to sound cold, but here was my reality: all our dreams died when he did.
Believe it or not, that thought was freeing for me. It meant I could allow myself to let go of trying so hard to fit a ME into what was once a WE. I had to start dreaming my own dreams, figure out what that looked like and allow myself to not feel bad for doing so.
I quickly realized that meant a fresh start, a new beginning, a new home.
It was a rocky path to get there. Not everyone close to me agreed with my decision and I was ok with that. If there was anything I learned from loss it is that life is too short to live for other people. I had to do what was right for me and for my little family. I trudged on...
The process of getting my house ready to go on the market was HARD. The day the offer came through was HARD. The day I put an offer on a new house was HARD. Every bit of it was HARD and there's no way pen and paper could ever do justice to all of the reasons that make it so.
Saying good-bye is never easy. But sometimes good-bye's make way for hello's.
And you know what? We made it to our Hello.
We ended up in a beautiful new home, in a smaller neighboring town, with really great schools and a little bit of land. I have a pasture out front and can watch gorgeous sun-sets from my back wall of windows. Everything I had wanted and dreamt of. Imagine my surprise when I even noticed the builder had already put in those soft, little, felty things inside our cabinets all on his own? (a little detail that made me cry.)
I walk in my home now and I feel as if I can finally breathe again. This is everything I knew we needed, a fresh start. My gut had been pushing me this direction for a full year before I finally had the courage to make the leap.
Never will I regret the jump.
It is a bittersweet, new beginning, because it was birthed from a lot of pain. Yet if there's one thing I know about pain is it birth's beauty in ways we might not have expected. I'm already seeing it with my own eyes, in ways I only ever could've dreamt of.
I walked out of the door that very last time with the largest lump in my throat. Letting go, man it's hard. Yet I did. I slipped that key in the lock for the final time, took a deep breath and walked away. As I rounded the corner the sunlight caught my eye and disoriented me for a brief moment.
The transition from darkness to light, well... it can be blinding.