When the dust settles

When the dust settles

My family is now settled into our cute, cozy, rental house and the dust is settling from packing up everything, putting it into storage and being nomads over the summer. And as the dust settles from that, I’m finally feeling the huge emotional impact of knocking down my house.

I was thinking about my house as if it still existed the other day, and then it hit me, that house doesn’t exist and never will again. I’ve known for weeks and months that this reality was coming. I saw this starting to happen, but in that moment, when I realized that house in my memory didn’t exist, my heart finally felt it. And I was sad.

I wasn’t focused on the loss of our home while we packed and moved. I was riding the excitement of the project finally starting. (We’ve been trying to get it off the ground for years.) I was using that momentum to stay focused on what I needed to do each day, to take care of the next thing I needed to accomplish. I wasn’t looking very far into the future, because the present demanded my attention. And so I’m having a delayed reaction, the reality of what we’re doing is fully hitting me.

I had moments before of acknowledging that the house my kids were babies in, the house my son learned to walk and talk in, the only home in both of their memories was about to be no more and I’d get a little twinge in my throat, but in this moment, there’s a full-out ache in my heart.

And…..

I’m excited. Watching the creation come to life that I’ve dreamed and pictured and drawn is thrilling.

And…..

I feel a gapping hole for the loss of the physical space that held sweet memories, moments that feel like they’re slipping away as my 13 and 11 year olds spread their wings and begin their journey into independence. There’s little of our morning snuggles, there’s not tea time on the couch where they ask me to read book after book and nestle down into my lap. In fact, my son is so big, I sit in his lap to snuggle instead.

And….

They’re growing into amazing humans. I cherish the deep conversations and outright goofiness we have together.

The attachment I’m feeling to physical spaces and things is common. This attachment is based on the idea that physical objects and places hold memories. We can feel it when moving out of our childhood home or moving away from places we’ve known. We’re connected to them. Since my grandparents have passed away, I don’t have a reason to travel to Northern Alabama. Yet… sometimes… I long to drive those roads and see those small towns because I feel they are part of me. I’ve left many places and watched so many childhood places change, as we all have, yet this time, it’s closer to my heart than ever.

I’m watching these conflicting feelings exist simultaneously inside. Joy, excitement, sorrow, loss, hope, and happiness all swirl around in me. It’s intense to feel it all at once, to ride the emotions time and time again. And yet, I wouldn’t want it to stop. I wouldn’t want to miss out on this part of being human.

I do know that the love and laughter and even the tears that our home held has seeped into the soil AND into my soul. All these sweet memories of our lives from the old house are in the land where a new home will be and also endlessly inside me.

So I’m going to let myself be sad, let myself morn and miss what is gone and still hold the hope and excitement of what is to come inside my heart till the two emotions meld into one. They’ll flow together enough that the intensity of the loss is easier and the excitement of what is to come is real.