I’m homeless now. For a time. You see, I moved out of the condo. A friend dubbed that place “the treehouse”, since it was on the 3rd floor and faced the woods. That was the last home I shared with my husband. We were there together for just a few months. But, we were there. Together. When he died, I’d never known such misery. At the time, I wrote that I felt like I was torn up, waiting for renovations to take place. “Please excuse the mess”, I wrote.
Little did I know what was to come in such close succession. In the seven years I lived there, I lost many more immediate family members. All the while, after each death that came my way over those seven years, I had the safety of this shelter to envelop me. I shed more tears in that space than I likely had in all the previous decades of my life combined. Those walls contain my sorrow, my heartache, my anger, my utter devastation.
The “treehouse” became my solace, my haven, my convalescent home. I needed that place to breakdown, to be under construction in a way I’d never been before. My grief was LEGION! It seemed to know no bounds. The last straw was my sister, Cathy’s death. I could remain my former self no longer, or I would surely be lost and become an old woman before my time . I needed to grab hold of the bulldozer and dig! Dig deep! I needed to honor the people who had gone before and figure out a way to embrace life. To still live. Maybe live in a way I’d never been able to live before.
There’s a line from a movie called The Quiet Man. Maureen O’Hara has married John Wayne and, because he won’t fight with her brother, she can’t have her family things (her dowry) about her in her new house. She wants these things because, as a woman in those times, coming to the marriage with her dowry makes her an economic equal to her husband, not his property. And, when she finally gets her “things”, you can see that she has a deep connection, a history and a love that represents her insides. That’s what it feels like in a home that’s YOURS! YOU created it with your things and your taste and your preferences.
And, each day of the journey, with the sadness and the pain, the despair, I came to my “place”. The place that I created with my own sensibilities. I’d sit on the porch in the rain and read or write. Many times, I’d go to zombie land and just sit in front of the television, because that’s all I could do. As I walked through the fire, I had my things about me to bring me comfort and help bolster me when I was at my most tenuous.
Now, the universe is telling me it’s time for change. That place was there for me when I needed it most. I don’t know what the rest of my life holds for me now. I’m couch hopping for a while until I know where to land and create another home. As for the “treehouse”, it takes up special residence in my heart. It will be the place where I formed a cocoon and emerged with wings spread to embrace the rest of my life. I’m a little sad to relinquish it. I still cling to my last physical connection to my life with my husband there. But, the memories will never leave me, even as I forge on to new adventures, just the way he and all the rest of my family would want me to. I love you guys…….