The Best Five Years of My Life (so far)
So many times over the last week or two I have wanted to write on my blog, but time did not permit. I had a very full plate trying to pack for West Virginia. I had to pack certain things to take and use, other things to take and store; figure out what to leave in place, what to give away and donate! I thought I had gotten rid of so much, but it was still a little stressful when the truck arrived at our townhome Friday. I found myself wondering if I should have put more of my kitchen things in storage. But ultimately, using every inch of space available, I got everything put away and in order. Our kitchen is functional and looks great! I can't overstate what an accomplishment that was in the brief time I had there!
When I left WV yesterday, I had managed to get everything unpacked, other than my clothes and the boxes John has to sort through. I set out some of my most cherished framed pictures and even got a few wall hangings up! It felt so much like home by Sunday night, I was sad that I had to leave. I wanted to just sit down in my cozy little family room and enjoy it with John. Add to those emotions the fact that we woke up to snow (and more snow falling) and my desire to just stay put was magnified. I did not look forward to navigating the road that would take me to the Interstate. I am not an experienced driver in those conditions. And it was also very beautiful and inviting; the kind of day that is perfect for reading a book by a fireplace. But I was scheduled for foot surgery bright and early this morning. So I tore myself away! I made it down the dreaded two lane road just fine. And by about 2:00 pm, I was pulling into Murfreesboro with plenty of time to run a few errands before settling in at my friend's house.
This morning I had to be in Nashville, at the surgical center, at 6:00 am. I was a little nervous. I expected to be hurting quite a bit today and possibly tomorrow as well. But I have had a great day. Everything went well and the only real pain I've had was when we first arrived back at the house, before I'd had a chance to take my first pain pill. We had to stop at Bed Bath & Beyond on the way home so Connie could run in and get pillows for me (like the ones I forgot to bring). I don't want to mess my neck up again. And then we had to drive through Kroger and wait for my prescription. So by the time I walked from the garage into the kitchen, I was in considerable pain and needed to sit immediately. I was expecting pain all day. But it only took about 30 minutes for the pain meds to kick in. I have spent the rest of the day with my feet propped up and I notice that each time I get up to walk a few steps into the bathroom, it's a little bit easier.
I'm amazed. I'm taking my pain meds every four hours to stay ahead of the pain and it is completely under control. If I were to stay on my feet for very long, I can tell they would start hurting. But I'm far more comfortable than I expected to be this soon. And I plan to continue taking pain meds through tomorrow. I will probably stretch them out to six hours based on today's progress. I expect to be taking nothing by Thursday.
Per doctor's instructions, I will stay off my feet for two days, then I will start moving around a little more (gradually) on day three. I am frequently wiggling my feet at the ankle to make sure I keep the blood circulating. The pain pills make that easier. I'm already so glad I did this. It truly is a cake walk compared to frozen shoulder. I hope I can sleep tonight. I didn't take a nap today like I thought I would. I kept resisting it because I wanted to be tired enough to sleep all night.
But enough about the feet and a few words about my heart...
I've had so many emotions the last couple of weeks. I could have written several blog posts if I hadn't been SO busy. I was flooded with emotion the day the furniture left my home of the last five years. And I had all of those emotions wash over me again when I went by yesterday to pick up a few odds and ends. But not because of the structure. It doesn't bother me a bit to move out of that big home. Yes, it's beautiful and we enjoyed living there. But I will be just as happy in a townhome less than half the size. (In fact, I'm very excited about the cozy feel of our townhome.)
The memories are what trigger so much emotion for me. We have had some amazing times in the house we are leaving. Every room holds sweet, precious memories. So many of our wonderful ordinary days and evenings have been making appearances in my mind's eye, like slideshow flashbacks, everywhere I've looked this past week. Another chapter of our lives is closing. I'm thrilled about the new chapter that is beginning and I know there will be more great memories to cherish. But it feels like I am leaving behind a piece of me, a piece of "us." I have never felt this much emotion connected to moving out of any house.
The house we lived in prior to this was John's house before we met. So even though we got married there and John says it wasn't a home until I moved in, I was excited about starting fresh in a house we bought and moved into together. I'll never forget, we closed on Valentine's Day and he told me it was my Valentine's gift (even though he was the one who wanted it the most). LOL.
We moved in the week before Andrew was born. We've hosted many family holidays and get togethers there. Many sleepovers. I look at each room and remember things like reading bedtime stories to the boys when they spent the night, having the kids come stay with us during the May flood (just after Pax was born), cooking and baking for family and friends in the kitchen, planting 30 flower pots on the back patio each spring and having family come for Memorial Day weekends. Birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgivings, Christmases.
Leaving for trips and coming home. Quiet Sundays just the two of us. Standing in the kitchen listening to John tell me about his day. Hanging out in the bonus room listening to John play guitar (or hearing his guitar echoing through the house no matter what room I was in).
With every memory, as I walk through my now nearly empty house, my eyes fill up with tears. But they are tears of gratitude for the blessings and the sweet memories, tinged with just a shred of sadness that this chapter is closing. I have no doubt the next chapter will be equally full of blissfully happy ordinary days and cherished memories. But I spent five of the best years of my life in that house and even though I don't mind leaving the square footage and the fancy ceilings, I will always feel connected to it emotionally. An observer might presume on the surface that it was, materially, the best house of my life. But what it represents to me is emotional. All my memories are of contentment, peace, and love. Emotionally, I have been living the best years of my life (so far).
There were also some challenging times, like John's diagnosis and chemo, Marian's pneumonia, the emotional stress of detaching from my past and writing my book. I sat in my family room sometimes 15 hours a day writing and editing that book in 2009. I think about those hours frequently when I look at my family room recliner (where I worked most of the time). Although I shed so many tears purging those emotions, I came out on the other side more whole and spiritually/emotionally healthy than I ever expected to be. That house represents a time of healing in some very big ways. God has done so much for me during my eight and a half years in Murfreesboro. And the last five years have been a real season of personal growth for me.
I'm thankful that when I was setting up our townhome in Glade Springs this past weekend, I was filled with anticipation and joy for what lies ahead. It makes it easier for me to leave the happiness I know when I look forward to the happiness that is yet to be...