I could blame not writing on the remodel of my house, or the busyness that seems always to be the month of May, or one of my kids, or the weather, but honestly, I’ve just not felt like it. I should clarify and say that I’ve had lots of thoughts that I would have liked to have written down; however, I’ve been too tired, frozen, stuck, or whatever to actually put the words onto the paper.
Life is good. My house is ALMOST finished though it seems every day I think of a new project; I suppose that will probably always be true! I am LIVING in my newly remodeled grandparent’s home!!! No more Motor home unless we decide to go on a trip somewhere! I’ve gone through the boxes of things that were in storage in Houston. This was at times fun when each box opening felt like Christmas, and I discovered items that I had forgotten or thought were lost including a pair of favorite flip flops, a few more cookbooks than I thought I had saved, and the scarf Emma knitted me. Then, at times it was absolutely heart crushing when I found B’s favorite coffee mugs, my wedding dress, the ticket stub from our first Astros game, beloved books, seashells from many of our trips, photographs, etc., etc. It was difficult to juggle all the emotions, and that’s still happening even as I continue to sort through boxes for the second or third time and find new homes for items. I’ve discovered that it takes MUCH longer to unpack when each box is a surprise and contains a minefield of emotions.
This home project has brought me so much joy (along with a fair amount of angst), and I absolutely love how it has turned out. Even the minor things that aren’t perfect are all mine, and it feels nice. It feels like home……or at least extremely close. Each paint color, piece of tile, or light fixture (whether original, new, or from a former life) was chosen because it made me feel good whether due to a memory or because it was just pretty.
But then there’s the emotions. I can’t really explain, but I’m guessing that I am just getting around to feeling some of the feelings that I locked away last fall and winter. I didn’t realize it at the time; however, I now recognize that maybe there was just too much to feel all at once. So it seems with every box opened and put away, each finishing touch put on the house, and without exception each day that goes by, my heart and mind soak in the fact that my new life is replacing my old one. I know creating a new life is my only option right now, yet it’s still hard.
It seems like yesterday that we went on our last “date” which was a surprise (to him) wheelchair ride through the gardens and then the maze that is MD Anderson to the nice restaurant that is part of the Rotary House hotel. We had fun; it seemed normal. It was great to feel like a real couple again even if it really was technically still in the hospital. We talked and laughed as if all those worries that lurked weren’t there at all.
I’ve also been remembering little things like the last day we went out in Houston outside of the med center complex. This was sometime mid September. B had not been feeling well since Harvey, and since we moved into the temporary apartment, he was in and out of the hospital. I was checking out new places for us to live as I had time, but on this one beautiful day, B decided he felt like going out with me. He moved a little slower than he used to, but it didn’t matter one bit. It was great to be out. We found a perfect ground floor apartment in a location that we really liked. As much as the flood and losing our home and neighborhood had been hard on us both, we were excited about this new place. It was right beside a pretty park with a dog park, and we were looking forward to sharing that with Max. Anyway, it was a marvelous day, and we envisioned a new start for us in Houston in this new apartment. Unfortunately, and it sounds so unbelievably sad as I write it, we never got to move into that apartment. B passed away on the day we were supposed to move. I don’t know if I’ll ever get past that thought. We had so many dreams and plans that were smashed. And yet, we kept dreaming up new goals and things that we could enjoy like that apartment and little park.
There’s a lesson in all that, and I suppose it’s my ultimate goal of writing. Never stop dreaming, never give up, never let whatever it is (and everyone has something) rob you of your joy. Sometimes it’s really, really difficult. I believe those that we love who have gone before us want us to honor them by remembering but also by living life to it’s fullest and being the best that we can be. I know that is true.