I can still see it. My little man walks back and forth on the stone wall separating garden from lawn, long stick in his hand, narrating his latest adventure, his adoring black cat always several steps behind. He is oblivious to everything but his imagination, and would be mortified to know anyone could hear him.
I can see the garden’s seasons. Hellebores and crocus pepper the barren winter landscape. Tete-a-tete usher in colorful tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths. Seven varieties of hydrangeas fill summer with color. Dahlias the size of dinner plates welcome the new school year.
I remember the kitchen counter overflowing with potluck dishes, the sound of friends laughing, and the living room transformed into a fort.
Seasons spent turning an ivy-laden wasteland into a beautiful garden. Playing badminton in the back yard. Hours spent gardening, reconfiguring and staining decks, installing light fixtures and painting.
School projects spread throughout the dining room. Bedtimes extended by conversations too enjoyable to cut short. Apple pies taking too long to cool on the counter.
Moving out isn’t going to destroy these memories. But tonight I can’t be sure of that. So instead of sleeping, I will myself awake remembering all the details of this house and the last 10 years, a self-imposed sleep deprivation to take in every minute of my last few nights.
It’s more than a tad irrational.
I’m not moving all of my belongings on Friday. The house likely won’t go on the market until late summer. But that’s the start of it. That’s when my address officially changes and my home turns into a remodel project for strangers we’ll never meet.
And that’s when the teasing gets pushed into overdrive. The bulbs blooming later this month won’t really be mine. The culmination of the plans I’ve had for the house – the new trim, the remodeled bathroom, the finished path – we’ll complete for someone else to enjoy.
My tears are foolish. I know that. There are so many tragedies in the world and this doesn’t come close to being one of them.
Plus, it’s a happy occasion. I finally get to live with my husband! We’ll create new and wonderful memories. I’ll get into remodel mode, which I enjoy, and I’ll be able to detach. I know that. And I trust it.
And I trust God to bless our new family. And to help me make my husband’s house our home.
But tonight in the wee hours, as I sit alone in my house taking it all in, there will be tears.