We moved out of our old house a couple of weeks ago. As a sentimental marshmallow, I fully expected it to be a difficult transition for me. We had lived in that house for seven years, longer than I had ever been in any one place. When we moved in, my son was a typically developing toddler and my daughter was nothing more than a hope for some time in the future. On the day we moved out, my toddler had grown into an eight year old with autism and my daughter had become a kindergartener.
Being a big old sissy, I figured I'd start crying the minute the movers showed up and continue on until the last piece of furniture was carried out the door. But it didn't happen that way. In fact, I greeted the movers with a smile and focused on the work to be done. I was totally fine...
...until I went back to the empty house to clean it.
It hit me the minute I walked through the front door, the same door that I had carried my newborn daughter through six years ago. I stood in the living room and remembered all of the Christmases we had celebrated there. Then I passed through the kitchen where this once non-cooking mama taught herself how to bake gluten-free bread and meals from scratch in order to sneak actual nutrition into one very picky eater. The kids' rooms were the hardest for me and I indulged in a good cry remembering my children as babies in their cribs.
It was then that my mood changed. Perhaps it was a defense mechanism, but my sadness abruptly turned to anger. You see, the last several years have been terribly difficult for my family. It seemed as though we went from one catastrophe to another, barely catching our breath in between events. Instead of remembering the happy times with my babies, I began to flash back on the hard times. I suddenly remembered the day I realized that my son had autism. From there, I relived the horrible seizures that came along with it. I glanced at the spot where I had to perform CPR on my three year old boy because he had stopped breathing during his first seizure. How many times had I stood in that house talking to a 911 operator while listening for an approaching ambulance? I couldn't say for sure.
My son's complicated medical issues, while significant, were not the only unpleasant memories that filled my head and it suddenly became clear to me that this move was a good thing. A really good thing. My family needed a fresh start and now we have one. The old house is just a house. Our new place is home.
I left the house without cleaning it and decided instead to hire a service to remove the dust and bad memories without me. Good riddance!