She made an appointment to visit the house that was hers the day before.
She brought two friends along, who began as real estate specialists and have found roots in her heart. She arrived and saw that the new owners were parked in the garage. She later found their things in the house. Their work at redecorating had begun, and the bathroom lights were coming down. Dangling, actually.
She walked through each room.
She talked about something she had loved in each room.
"He always walked into that chandelier, anytime the kitchen table was moved for any reason," she said.
"I bought the house for this kitchen," she said.
"The deck was a gift to me from my church community," she said.
"The wood floors were a gift to me from a blog reader," she said.
"The faucet? He changed that as soon as we moved in. Not because there was anything wrong with the old one. Just because I mentioned I'd like one that was taller. So he replaced it. Which is how he made most of his decisions: there's nothing wrong with it, but I can get her a better one."
She looked at the washer and dryer, the space where she learned to be a mom, where she learned that love is not always a feeling. Sometimes it's clean underwear and folded undershirts.
She walked into the bedroom.
The sunlight shone on the carpet, lit up the walls in the bare room.
She lay on the floor.
"He was here. He was right here."
She wept, her tears spilling on the carpet and into her hands. She lay where he had lain, her head where his had been. "He was here."
She lay still, sobbing. Remembering.
Her friends stayed with her.
She sat up on her knees. She looked around the room. She rememberd other things, better times.
"He painted this room for me while I was on a girls' weekend away. It always bothered him that he ran out of time. He would have done one more coat," she said.
"I told him I was pregnant in this room, right in that little space there."
"What did he say?" her friend asked.
"He picked me up. He held me. He said, 'Let's do this thing, momma.'"
She let the sun fall on her.
She soaked it in, with the smells of the room, the feel of the carpet, the knowledge that she could never come back.
She cried until she was finished.
And then she stood up.
"Okay. I'm finished," she said.
She closed the door behind her;
her fingers lingered on the doorknob.
Her friends loaded her car with the items remaining, far more than a box, far less than a life.
She locked the door behind her and handed over the key.
She walked to her car.
She carried a broom, a doorstop, and a picture frame.
And her life mattered.
I too know Grief. It has a job to do. Love the story of letting grief do it's work in your home on the last day there minus him, your kids, your life stuff. Good job. Kudos to friends who can just wait and witness. Those types are few.
I've recently moved from CO to FL. We left our house in an RV to drive cross country with the pets. I didn't have time to do what you did. I don't feel 'at home' here yet and grief smacked me down on Tuesday. Yesterday, I laid on the floor in our FL apt, closed my eyes and as you, walked through each room, on the deck, around the yard - remembering and saying goodbye. This morning, the heaviness is lighter.
And a new dawn awakened..........................................
Beautiful, thank you. Life matters.
Ditto what HappyMomof5 just wrote (except I don't plan to move yet, and at this point can't imagine going through what you just did) because I'm sobbing too hard to write it all myself.
Oh my goodness! I cried harder reading this post than I have cried at anything you have written since your recounting of "the night" that began your journey. I am sobbing for one more thing you and your boys have lost; I am rejoicing for the exciting things that I know God has planned for you and your boys in your new home. I will have to face this one day in the future as I plan to move. When that time comes, I will remember the graceful way that you have handled this transition. God bless you, Tricia.
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book," (Psalm 56:8 NLT).
I am glad you walked through the memories in that home one more time--each tear a memory of loss and love. "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning"--a promise from our Savior! Yes, Grannymom 🙂
And what a treasure is the community of disciples who live life with us--through joy and sadness, through emptying and filling, through loss and gain. Such is the path to redemption. How thankful I am that Jesus sees us as redeemed, not as we have been or are...that is our hope--to be whole and clean and pure and healed...and united with God for eternity.
You are a strong and beautiful woman, Tricia Lott Williford. Not to mention a gifted writer! I have been reading your blog for over a year - I went all the way back to the beginning and read your whole story. I have wanted to comment many times, but never did until today. I admire you immensely - you are walking a hard journey in such an authentic way. That is not common. I will probably not meet you in person on this earth, but I did meet your husband when he was a child. It would have been in 1985 - my husband and I were students at Bryan College in Dayton, TN and Robb's dad, Craig, was on staff there. He did our pre-marital counseling and at some point in the process, he invited us over for dinner with his family, where I met your Robb as a probably around 10-year old boy. Small world, huh? I pray for you and your family. I know of sudden, devastating loss as well - my only brother died at age 40 of a pulmonary embolism very unexpectedly in January of 2009. He also left behind 2 boys (ages 15 & 11 at that time) and a devastated widow. Not to mention a devastated mother, sisters, nieces and nephews, students, and friends. Life sure does kick us all in the gut. I'm thankful for the God who makes all things new and for the promise of eternity with Him. I look so forward to reading your book soon. Thanks for sharing your journey.
Reading your posts gets me so excited for your book...even if it's a year away! 🙂 Sorry you got stuck in Chicago!
p.s. God used you in such a mighty way this weekend; thanks for answering His call!
p.p.s. This is Robin's daughter-in-law 🙂
Goodbyes are always hard.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Joy will come in your new home.
<3 Prayers for you sweet Jesus Girl! Start fresh. Love deep. Stay brave. Be fearless. Hope endlessly. Pray boldly. Care tirelessly. You've got this. You've got Jesus. <3