Thoughts on Moving

We are moving. Now the task lies before me to pack up this home, this house of dreams where I planned to spend the rest of my life, and sort, divide, donate and sell.  We are moving from a neighborhood with three car garages, landscape lighting, and security systems to a small rental in an older neighborhood. I am going from gleaming hardwood floors, French toille wallpaper and curving staircases to linoleum, outside parking and one bathroom. And I am choosing to do it.

I am choosing to take my kids and myself out of a situation that is beyond my control. I am choosing to wrench the bull by his horns and wrestle that sucker to the floor. Because of choices my ex-husband made, I cannot keep my home house. The struggle of coming to terms with that has been a bed of hard, sharp rocks. But ultimately, it is simply the truth. A single mom supporting three children by herself cannot take on the kind of debt a house like that brings. It must be sold.

The hard part is the dissolution of the dreams. The hopes and plans of a future that seemed so secure, so idyllic, so perfect, so much a fulfillment of everything I wanted- all that is gone. I miss the man I married. I miss my best friend. I miss him with a gasping chasm of perfect pain where my heart was- but he is gone, and I cannot bring him back. So like the house, I have to step back and distill the truth- the truth of the house is that I cannot keep it. The truth of my marriage is that I cannot fix it. Hiding from those truths would only hurt me more.

I took the kids to see what I am calling our “new small house”, and they were okay with it. They don’t notice things like linoleum floors and think sharing a bathroom will just make Saturday chores go faster. Cleaning four bathroom does take some time, and who needs two walk-in master closets anyway? Gleaming hardwood floors are hard to keep clean, and my Dyson needed some carpet. My cheeks sting, and I feel ashamed of my pride, and ashamed that I am not more grateful for the “new small house”.

My emotions are always close to the surface. More so now. I met with my attorney this week, and it’s like ripping open a sutured wound when the severing you have come to terms with intellectually is all laid out before you on paper. I thought I was ready. But the actuality of it- of seeing your life, your heart, your best friend, your children, your home- laid bare into legal terms on stark white paper… nothing can prepare you for it. I cried all day.

The futures I had imagined are gone. I need to grieve, and experience that loss, lest it raise it’s head in some unhealthy way later. So I’m letting myself cry. I’m allowing the waves of sadness to wash over me, and I’m hoping as they do, the salty brine of the sea will help heal the cracks in my spirit. It stings now, but maybe it’s all part of doing what’s good for me. I have faith the healing will come, and I have faith that the void and vacuum of my heart will gradually fill up with new good things.

My pride has taken a hit. But maybe that’s a good thing. I keep telling my kids that it doesn’t matter where we live, it’s our family that matters. I told them a house is like clothes- it may change but the family on the inside is what matters. A house is just a house.  Back in October, before I told the blog what was happening, I wrote the following:

No matter how much you love your home and think it’s where your heart is, it’s not. Your home is an empty shell, a vacant lot, without those you love lighting it’s walls. The old adage got it wrong.

Your home is in your heart- not the other way around.

Much like Alice, I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it. This time, I’m taking it to heart.

Painting by the exceptional Kathleen Lolley.

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27 thoughts on “Thoughts on Moving

  1. I loved this line:

    “I am choosing to wrench the bull by his horns and wrestle that sucker to the floor.”

    I think I liked it so much because it shows that you are going forward strongly, not hanging your head sure that the rest of life will suck. You have hope and faith that although the light at the tunnel isn’t obvious now, you know it is there.

    • Thanks Jen. I have to look at it that way. I give myself a little bit of time to feel sad, and then it’s time to be getting on… there really is no other choice.

  2. I expect that house is a tender mercy, linoleum and all.
    And I’m very relieved that the boys won’t have to change schools. That’s what I was most worried about when you first mentioned having to move.
    Because I’m bookish like that, and I know you love Bean’s school.

    The moving, the sorting, the packing, sounds tantamount to awful. But perhaps living more simply in a smaller space will have it’s own blessings.

    And does your cheese monger have a website? I suspect several people are longing to send you stinky cheese giftcards.

    • Em, there is not one doubt that Little House is a tender mercy. It used to belong to a good friend of mine, and it’s been rented for more than a year. Then, just as I decided I had to start looking, the guy living there up and moved out. Within hours my RS pres and Bishop were all over it- they called me to tell me it was going to be open, and they called the owners.

      I know things are going to work out and we are going to be okay. It’s the “getting through it” part that’s hard.

      Regarding the cheese store- I don’t know if they have a website or not, honestly… I’ll ask Mo. She’s my tech guru.

    • Thank you Carrie. That support system was a heavy consideration when trying to decide what to do. It cannot be overstated what a huge support my ward and friends are. And I count you among those friends.

  3. At least you’re not in limbo anymore. Now you can move forward, even if it is just one painful step at a time. Wish I was there to help you pack. I’m not very good at organizing things, but I’m GREAT at throwing things away and saying, “Be free, little clutter! Be free!”

    Love your guts.

    • It’s true- having a direction and at least an answer for one question in the insane ‘what next’ queue is a good thing. There are lots of silver linings to be found.

  4. I keep imagining that you are surrounded by an army of angels: giant cherubim to protect, nurses to heal, and your own Gethsemene Angel to hold you and give you comfort.

    There is going to be a lot of love in that little house.

  5. Everytime my husbands family moved growing up his mother would always try and be “ruthless” while packing, meaning she would try and sort and organize and pack and really get rid of things. Everytime we have packed and moved, I tell myself to be “ruthless” over and over and over!
    I’m glad you and the kids have a place that will allow your ward the schools to be the same. I hope that moving into that home goes smoothly, you deserve a break!

  6. I remember loving that bit at the end when you first published it. Very true. I, too, am happy you found a place close enough to still be surrounded by people who care about you and your kids can still go to the same school. It never ceases to amaze me how Heavenly Father sends us things just when we them.

  7. Aww Tracy, I just love you so much. You’re an amazing woman and my heart breaks for what you’re going through. I’m so glad you’re going to be in the ward still and I know you will make your “new small house” an incredible HOME. It seems as though it’s meant to be with how quickly it fell into place for you and your children. Please let me know what I can do to help. It is inspirational to see your faith and strength through this whole ordeal. You’ve got some great blessings headed your way for what you’ve had to endure. Hang in there and know that you are loved!!!

  8. Ouch. I hear your words and internalize them in my own personal way. I am feeling much of the same as I move on, going through all the boxes I quickly threw Jamie’s items in as he packed to move. I have to go through them now and sort a life I thought I would live with him. It hurts but feels good to finalize and move on, even if moving on means moving backwards in some way. Moving backward sometimes feels that way, but eventually we realize its moving forwards. Have faith in the journey. Love you and your beautiful children, Chelsea

    • Love you too, Chels. A lot of lessons I already know the answers to but haven’t had to think about for a long time are coming to the surface. Wish you could pop up just to stand near me. <3

  9. I’m so glad that you are able to stay near your support system. What a blessing for you. Good look with the packing and moving. And when people offer to help, let them!!

  10. “I am choosing to take my kids and myself out of a situation that is beyond my control. I am choosing to wrench the bull by his horns and wrestle that sucker to the floor.”

    And this is what makes you an AMAZING mom and will sustain you through hard times!

    I look forward to the great things ahead for you and your kids…

    I am so glad you get to stay in your ward, with your support system!

    Continued prayers and my love my friend! You are doing great things in life!

  11. Tracy, you are being blessed with a multitude of gifts, including your kids, your support system, and your faith.

    Having moved 6 months ago, I totally understand the necessity to “sort, divide, donate and sell.” It is a painful process – but one that is also freeing. I still miss some of my things I could not bring with me, but I have realized that most of them are things I really can live without. The most important things I still have – my family being foremost in that abundant list.

    You can do these hard things. You can, and you will.

  12. I was talking with my, now 28 year old, daughter the other day and she mentioned how she and her 2 brothers felt that some of their happiest family memories were in our little 2 bedroom apartment after I was divorced. We didn’t have much, but we more than made up for it in love and laughter shared in that tiny place.

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