“I’m not ready.”
Her voice is whisper thin in the dark, a warm caress that pulls on my heart and tugs at the edges of the wound hidden deep inside me. The same way that I know the quiver in her voice nips at the edges of her own.
For weeks our lives have been a whirlwind of mayhem, a cacophony of boxes and bags and lasts and firsts. They have risen to the occasion, sorting through mementos and parting with once-prized treasures now tattered and torn at the bottom of the playroom. They’ve packed boxes and erupted in hot cocoa-fueled giggles over Christmas carols as I’ve filled all the seconds between hockey and gymnastics and sleeping and eating and working.
Throughout it all we’ve been filled with a quiet resignation that, after all these years and the planning and the determination, it is finally here.
And despite our excitement and our readiness, a quiet melancholy has been building. This is the only home they’ve ever known. And this is the home that has shaped who I am today. Its walls are filled with our laughter and our sadness, our anger and our recovery. It holds every moment, and every memory, of the past decade. And tonight we will close our eyes wrapped in its warm embrace for the last time.
Tomorrow morning we will empty the final drawer, and close the final door. And we’ll carry with us every memory and every scar.
“I won’t have any memories in the new house. And I really love this house so much … and when we talked about a new house I didn’t know it would be this hard.”
Wiping the hot tears from her face with the velvety ear of the bunny that has been her constant companion for all of the moments we’ve lived in this house, the familiar pain twists deep in my heart. Wrapping my arms around her, my tears join hers as they’ve done so many times before in the dark of this house.
“Lovely girl … I didn’t know either.”