When I found you, I was desperate. I had no place to go. I searched and searched to try to find a place that would work for my family, and I couldn't find anything. Finally, you came along. When the kids and I walked in and looked around, we knew right away that we could use you, even if it wasn't going to be very comfortable. The landlord was willing to work with a single mom with 5 kids and no income, even if it meant that he would have to wait for the rent payments to come through the homeless prevention program that was assisting me.
Emotionally, I was at an all-time low in my life. Depression had truly gotten the best of me, and I didn't know what I was going to do next. My church family moved us - seriously, they packed up our stuff and moved us because I just couldn't do it. Honestly, I don't know if they even realized the extent of the darkness surrounding me at that point in my life. Whether they did or not, they stepped up and rescued me.
It took what seemed like forever for me to get my act together and get things straightened up and organized. I donated tons of stuff to get rid of it and make room, because going from a 2 story 4 bedroom house with an office and tons of storage, to you with only 2 bedrooms and zero storage made downsizing not only necessary, but mandatory. It felt good to get rid of so much crap - both literally and figuratively, because as I got rid of some of it, I felt the emotional baggage go along with it.
As time went on, I started to see the light. I got my stuff organized and I got my feelings organized. I started living life again. I filed for divorce and waited patiently for it to become final, which would happen on my 40th birthday. And 20 days after that, my ex-husband died and I boarded one of the biggest, scariest, longest lasting emotional rollercoasters ever created. His death was the last thing that I ever wanted, the last thing I ever expected, and easily one of the hardest things that I have ever had to go through in my life.
I spent hours sitting at the table in your kitchen, dealing with Social Security and pensions and death benefits and bill collectors and the IRS, trying to make sense of it all. And when I couldn't focus anymore, I'd fall over on the futon in the corner of your living room and sleep for a few hours until I had to get up and face another day.
Within your walls, I started to rebuild my life. I started dating, and then I stopped to deal with the emotions of his death. And then I started to live again.
I helped my kids with their homework. I did their laundry and packed their lunches and baked their birthday cakes. I planted flowers and cut the grass and replaced light switches. I canned sand plums and strawberry jam and applesauce. I fixed the She-Beast time and time again in your driveway. I held my kids while they cried and I disciplined them when they needed it and kissed their boo-boos that they got from playing in the yard. I started dating this crazy guy and then fell in love with him and even got up the nerve to tell him that I loved him in the front room in the wee hours of the morning before a road trip to Kansas City to take a friend to the airport.
And through all of this, I learned so much about myself. I learned just how strong I can really be - and at the same time that I don't have to always be so strong. I learned that I can take care of myself and my family, but that it is also ok to ask for help once in a while - or to accept it when it is offered. I learned that if you want something bad enough, you can get it - even if it takes a lot of time, effort, and patience to get there.
As we've been packing up our lives and moving stuff out over the past few weeks, I've been hit with emotional waves more often than I'd care to admit. As much as I complained about how small you were and OMG Why Can't We Have A House With More Than One Toilet, I loved you dearly. You were there for me in so many ways, not just as a house, but as a home, a shelter, and a place to grow.
There are so many amazing memories that happened within your walls. But what I will remember most is that I found the most important thing in my life within your walls.
I found myself.
|The Ghetto-esque House|
Sept. 1, 2010 - March 7, 2014