When you buy a house, you sign your life away at the closing. The joke you’ll hear before mountains of papers start flying your direction is that you better get your hand good and warmed up because it’s about to be put to work.
You’ll spend the next 45 minutes to an hour, maybe longer, promising a bank everything from your regular monthly payment to your first born son and then at the end of all that signing a lawyer will shake your hand and congratulate you on your purchase.
Welcome to home ownership!
But when you sell a house? That’s when you’re REALLY signing your life away.
It’s been an emotional few days around here as we’ve prepared to pack the last decade of our lives into a storage unit until we’re settled in our forever home sometime next year. We’ve cried while reminiscing about what the last ten years have held, and most of those memories have taken place right here.
We started our life together, put down roots, and made this town we didn’t know our place. It’s familiar. Comfortable.
Our children took their first steps on these floors which we put in ourselves during a summer renovation project that ended up lasting into the fall. This is the only home they’ve ever known.
We spoke their names for the first time in these rooms.
I’ve kissed boo boos and sung songs and hoped beyond hope for nothing but happiness for the both of them while rocking them to sleep at night in nurseries chosen and designed before they were born.
We’ve baked cakes and celebrated birthdays and anniversaries and life and death and we’ve done it here. Together. As a family.
It’s funny, and I know I’ve said this before, but for a long time this place didn’t feel like home. It was just the where we lived. That is, until it wasn’t ours anymore. Now all the stories tucked away in these walls are suddenly crying out, begging to be told again and again. Begging to be heard and remembered forever. Scared we’ll forget about them.
Even though the memories are ours, it’s like they don’t belong to us anymore. They’re trapped within these walls and we’ll be leaving them here forever in just a couple of days. It feels like we can’t take them with us.
How do you pack a memory into a cardboard box?
Of course there are new memories to be made. One day I’m sure we’ll look back on this as just another leg of our journey together, but for right now as I lay here unable to sleep on what is our last night in this house, it feels like we’re closing a book and not just turning a corner to see what’s coming up ahead.
Turns out we made this place a home after all and we didn’t even know it.