There I was turning in for my last night. The last night in the home that held many tender memories of the last 15 years. Our girls were so little when we moved in. Three, five and six, just wee children at primary school. There we created 15 years of our our new family chapters. The birthday party’s we had were epic. My favorite was the Sparkle Pony party where we had an actual pony on the property for the afternoon. It was a magical day. Pinata’s, games of pass the parcel, cake, candles, laughter, water fights and swimming in the pool. Perfect autumn day. It was simply ideal! My 50th and 60th birthday party’s held there, complete with a live blues band performing in the shed. A fleet of motorcycles and classic cars choking the street. Chilled craft beer on tap!
My beautiful quality bed linen was safely stowed away, I had neatly ironed it all the previous day, lovingly folded as to capture time. The big bed that the three girls were conceived on had gone earlier that evening. Here I was on a camp bed, the house completely empty. My girls gone to their separate new accomodation. Our faithful three dogs gone with them.
They say the saddest sound in a family home is the empty silence when the children have moved out. I found it to be unsettlingly true. I was so used to hearing the dogs in their habits. My girls goofing around laughing and teasing each other in the kitchen. The sound of the gate as they came and went. Seeing them at the kitchen table immersed in study. Morning greetings exchanged and plans for our day as we made breakfast. Asking who’s ‘science project’ was jammed in the back of the fridge? All those habits and routines now recent history. Looking back we might say I should have avoided that night. However I now feel it was necessary to recognise and accept the closure in the situation.
I lay in my camp cot, in that silence, shuddering in tears. The feeling was like many precious things had been torn from me. Torn from me in the space of a day. The next day at high noon the property would legally pass into the hands of another, for them to create their new chapters. This was an emotion I had never experienced, how could I? I was unprepared for the waves of grief and the immediacy of those emotions. There was no way back. No healing by saying ‘it was all a mistake, lets put it all back together again and make it right’.
Emptying every room, every corner, closet, cabinet in the house, garage and shed was an olympic task to say the least. That night it was all empty ready for the final sweep and mop out. So foreign to see the home empty wall to wall. Now simply a house. Hear the hollow echo of empty space. It was a vision and sound of what my heart felt like that night.
This was the path that circumstance had put us on. Other than a large sum of money falling into our laps there was no other solution to the issues we faced. No other solution my advisors had proposed or I could conceive. This was the parting of ways with the home, it’s memories and our living together since the birth of each daughter.