So my family made it over to New York. It is all big changes, it feels very different. The light, the abundance of trees, the rain we have been getting, the roads, the building, the people. Not exactly strange and foreign, but very different.
It had been most insane and and we are not arriving at sane any time soon.
Often, of course, we troop out and people look us over, size us up, and help us count our children and ascertain their gender, and then inform us, “You have three girls!” Every morning I look and I count, and yes, I have three girls. And a boy, Ferdinand.
We just nod and smile and say nothing. They like to tell us they have three too, but all boys, or that they have one more- four girls! We nod and smile some more.
Last Saturday we have a very nice, retired couple come into our temporary apartment. They had been sent on an assignment to put together the girls’ bunk bed. Somehow our movers did not pack the hardware, they were nowhere to be found, so the company sent out this couple, who specialize in things like that (and also repairing anything that movers had damaged, and they showed us their photo album– they truly can repair anything. However, I was less impressed with what they could do, than with what could happen. For me, that album was a book of miracles and horrors). They looked over the parts, went out and found some hardware, and made some parts themselves, and put the girls’ bed together. They also asked if we would like to try for a boy, “Wouldn’t you want to have a boy?”
R and I looked at each other, and then he smiled weakly and said, “Oh, we are all done.” There was awkwardness in that room. Maybe they wished they had not asked, and we wished hey hadn’t asked, and I was on the verge of telling them that we do have a son, but he is not alive. I did not because hey were stacking the beds then and I was afraid everything will topple and fall.
We have been looking for a house that we can call home. It had not been easy finding something we like. Either too old requiring too much work, too small, too compartmentalized, or the kitchen was a joke. But in any case, we will need our house in AZ to sell first, so we are keeping fingers very crossed that it goes fast.
Still we are looking, to get an idea of the market, and it had been helpful understanding the houses here. So many different issues we have to consider, and we realize there will also be more work maintaining a house here than back in Phoenix, due to climate differences.
Yesterday we went to an open house. The neighborhood was great and beautiful. The house was old, but we liked the good-sized rooms and the screened porch and the yard was decent and green. R had some concerns with regard the heating/cooling elements and while the realtor answered our questions she told us the seller was “very motivated” (meaning, she had lowered the price by 40 thousand, and will even do so further, as she wanted the house off her hands). But I think she also did not want us to think it was because the house had major problems so she offered, “Her husband passed away, and this is a lot of house for her. She is anxious to sell it.”
The house has been on the market for four months.
I have no idea how long they lived in the house, but from the looks of it, it was a long time. I don’t know how he died, but I could viscerally feel how the past months had been for her. I still freshly remember packing up the cabin, putting away Ferdinand’s things and my heart is still broken. As we walked back out to our car, I felt tears rising, and as I stood and waited for R to scoop out the front and back yard, I looked up at the sky and see the green tree tops and I wondered if I was wanting to cry for myself or for the female owner of the house.
It was a lovely, old house. Walking through and seeing everything you can sense a lot of happy memories in there and all the work that had been done there. There was a library lined with books. And a lot of baby/toddler stuff, which must have been the grandchildren, and I imagine the male owner being missed by so many people. I selfishly thought of myself too, what if one day I am on my own, it will totally break me to have to deal with everything and then have the house cleaned and beautifully decorated, so strangers can come walk through and peek into bits of our private lives, and maybe, buy it from me. What will I be selling then? Memories, or parts of a heart?
Life is so crazy in that way. How happy memories can turn bittersweet with a change of events. We have, in order to lose. The very same thing that brought you joy can and will bring you sorrow too.