To quote Semsonic...Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. Friday was that for me. As we were on the eve of the new moon solar eclipse, I was in awe in the way that an eclipse can help us put an ending in our lives that we may be avoiding. In order for the new to be birthed, the process of death needs to take place. This process, for me, did not happen overnight. This death has been talked about for many years, and most recently I finally pulled the trigger and decided to end a huge, huge chapter in my life. 16 years ago, my Dad and I, along with my two youngest sons, traveled for about a month straight searching for a place to call home. I kept driving into one particular development that I knew I wanted to call home, and fortunately, that dream came true.
This place was the first home that I ever owned. Super exciting while being super scary all at once. New home, new state, new school, new everything. We moved in just in time for the kids to begin their school year. It was a lot of change for all of us and that did not go unnoticed. Many things changed in that house that soon became our home. We grew here, we cried here, we laughed here, we fought here, but most importantly, we raised each other here. My initial reason for moving to Nazareth, Pennsylvania was for the school system and knew way deep down inside that once the youngest of this group of four graduated that it was going to be time to sell this place that we all called home.
Gavin graduated in 2019, and the reality that I had been talking about was smacking me in the face. I went back and forth with the idea for awhile. Some of the kids moved back in and back out and ultimately, at the end of the day, I was there in the big ole house with a whole lot of memories and a lot of empty rooms. The time had come.
In May of 2021, I began the long journey of selling my home. Many people I know decide to sell their home, have a big yard sale, pack up the rest, and onto the next chapter. During this journey, I sometimes wished that I was more like that, but accepted the fact that I am not, and decided to end this journey, my way. I decided that in order to really, truly move from this place, I needed to say goodbye to each and every room, and I did, with a letter. I cried writing some, laughed writing others, surprised myself with some of the realizations that took place, but most importantly I released. Purged in a way that didn't involve stuff, but most importantly purged the emotions. Now, (here it comes) the back story. During the duration of time that I lived in this home, there was a fox that frequented the neighborhood. Some would panic, stating, put your animals in the house, the fox is loose. I would giggle and respond within, "that's my spirit animal". We even experienced one night when we had the windows open and the fox decided to venture up on our back sidewalk and sit there looking towards the house, as if he was peeking in the window. My youngest and I were sitting in the living room when this occurred and Gavin yelled out the window, "get outta here, go", the fox never moved. Instead, continued to sit there and just look at us. Last Christmas I bought a journal as a gift for one of the kids and in taking a closer look at it, I realized that on the front cover was, you guessed it, a fox. At that point, I decided to keep that journal for myself, and replaced that gift with another. THAT was the journal that I wrote my letters to Manor Drive in. Now back to the story at hand. When Christmas of 2021 rolled around, I kept stating that after the first of the year, I was going to put my house on the market. There were a few things that I wanted to do before putting the sign in the yard, one of which was taking the piece of sheetrock down that still housed a painted handprint of each one of the children, who were now adults, along with a few other things. The beginning of March, the house went on the market and within 6 days one of the offers was accepted and my future reality was now my present. Let the packing begin. I slowly packed and moved boxes and tried to get as much done as I could before the day of the big move. Before you knew it, that time had presented itself and shit was now as real as it could be. I continued to write to each room, but the deadline was rapidly approaching.
One of the family traditions we created in this home, was what we called a carpet picnic. It started on a Friday night many moons prior and consisted of a tablecloth and blanket on the living room floor and dinner with all of us sitting around talking about our week and watching a movie. The Sunday before closing was the last meal we had in this home and of course, it was a carpet picnic. By this point in time, the letters to each room had been completed and due to the fact that my cursive is hard to read at times, I read each one of the letters, aloud, while the kids listened in. When the last page was read, at that moment, I realized that I wrote a small book about that home. A small book that spoke about our journey there, the most beautiful part of that journal wasn't about the words within those pages, but about those words that triggered the kids to share their perspectives, the stories that I was hearing for the first time....their stories. Their perspectives.
As the last of the items were finally emptied out, at that moment, I realized that the home that I so loved, was now just a house. I realized that the things that I had been physically moving from house to house were no longer serving me a purpose. I didn't need to hold onto those items to prove anything...to prove that I loved anyone because the things aren't the love, the people are. The memories are, and those are packed within my heart.
The last day that I was there, I cleaned up a few things, and walked through every room and said my verbal goodbye. I took a moment and sat on the steps and thought back to the first day that my Dad an I walked into that home and with his advice, knew that making that purchase was a great idea. I walked down the steps and there on the floor...a random dime. I knew that he agreed that it was time to go.
I am so grateful for the last 16 years in that home, and excited for the new family that purchased it, as I had often said over the last few years, the home needed little kids. Needed a family that was ready for the journey that we had taken 16 years prior. Do I think I will miss this place? I am sure something will come up and make me think of that place or trigger a memory that will bring a smile to my face, but after purging all of the emotions, I was ready to move forward.
In October of 2021, I first looked at my now present home. When the realtor opened up the door, I looked down at the key and noticed that there was something on it. In taking a closer look, I realized it was a fox. Again, the fox was leading the way, leaving the trail for me to follow. I have been in my new home for a little over a week and as I was going to my car the other night, I noticed something running across the backyard and as it was exposed to light coming off of an out building, I was able to make out this animal and see what it was...once again, the fox had shown up.. I knew I now, once again, I was home...