I walk thru this house and look around and what do I see? I see the kids on That first Christmas morning 12 years ago. We moved in 3 days before Christmas. It was the best gift we ever received. Now here I stand 12 years later. Alone. Donnie is gone and our world turned upside down. It's 4 days before Christmas and I am here in this house for the last time as I am on my way to sign the papers. I have finally sold it. Almost 4 years after losing Donnie, I am walking out of the home we made together. It is bittersweet. The house had become such a financial burden to me that I couldn't keep it. So there was the relief of that burden being lifted. But this was our home and I am walking away. We shared so many wonderful times here. As I walk thru the house , I revisit those memories.......
I see our first Christmas, I see the kids first prom and homecoming pictures taken in front of the fireplace. I can see Donnie sitting in his recliner with Caley asleep on his chest. I see Shantel with her first car, coming in the driveway on two wheels and scaring me to no end. I see baking cookies with the kids to give for Chritmas. I see Justin sitting in his room practicing his trombone and later his guitar. I see the cat Izzy racing with Courtney to get to her room before Courtney shut her out. I see the girls slumber parties, I see their fights. I see Courtney leaning back in her chair at the table and daddy "popping" her on back of the head. It will forever be known as the "Courtney pop" I see Caleys first steps. I watch Shantel become the most amazing Mom to that baby in that house. I see our friends cooking on the back porch on Saturday night and playing washer boards. I see Donnie and I snuggled up on the front porch swing watching it rain on a lazy afternoon. I see all the family dinners and good times we shared. I also see Donnie here sick. I see our fight to save him. And I feel so different here now. I can still see all of those things. But I don't have to be here to see them. Strangely. This house isn't home anymore. The home we made here is in our hearts. We take it with us. I walk thru this house and say goodbye to this house. I go into Donnie's closet and close the door and sit on the floor. There in the dark, I close my eyes and search for him. After Donnie died I would curl up on the floor of that closet and cry at night. It was the only place the kids couldn't hear my sobs. And it still smelled like him even after he was gone. Sitting here now, alone in the dark, it doesn't smell like him anymore. I don't feel him the way I did before. I want to. I want him to take me in his arms and tell me it's ok. Tell me it's ok that I had to sell the house I want him to tell me he forgives me for letting this place go. I want him to tell me that I have made all the best decisions that I could when he left. I want him to tell me that I will be ok. I want him to tell me that I can get thru losing another part of him. I want nothing more than to hear his laughter ringing thruout this house as he chases the grand babies Its so unfair that they won't experience here what our children did. This was the only place that was ever truly " home" to my children and now I have taken that away from them. I sit in the dark, alone in that empty closet, in that empty house and I cry. I cried for everything we shared here and everything we lost. I cry saying goodbye to the last tangible thing that Donnie and I shared.
And in all honesty, as I cry, I have hope. I believe it is no coincidence that this house is selling almost 12 years to the day from us moving in. I think that this house now is supposed to be home to Craig and Jennifer and their children. They are good people. They are in love with this house. And I believe that it's time for this house to be home to another family. It's time for them to make their own memories there. And they have invited us to come to see them whenever we want to. So in my sadness of walking away, I smile thru my tears happy with the hope that this house will bring them all the joy and happiness it brought to my family. I hope the memories they make here sustain them for a lifetime. The way ours will.
I have learned many things thru our journey of Donnie's cancer and losing him, but I have learned a couple of really big things. One of them is " home isn't where you live, it's who you live with". I'm not leaving home today, it comes with me wherever I go. I leave here today knowing I am going home to Chris. The man that gave me hope that their might still be life for me. The man that patiently won my heart and showed me that I could love again without losing what I had with Donnie.
I walk thru this house one more time, thru each room saying goodbye and I lock the door for the last time, I feel like I have done the right thing. I think I have done the best that I could with the cards I was dealt. And I think the kids understand. I hope they do at least.
Please keep myfamily in your prayers as mother battles breast cancer and my step mother continues to battle lung cancer. I pray one day they find a cure so no one has to fight this awful beast.
For all that have followed our journey and still do. Thank you for your love and support. It means so much to me.
Love to all