In my years as a counselor, I often used writing letters as a part of my clients’ therapeutic process. These were not letters where punctuation, spelling or proper use of “there, their and they’re” mattered. These letters written from pain, anguish, love, fear or grief were raw, honest, soulful and represented closure. Sometimes closure came once my client read the letter aloud, shredded the letter or even burned it to ashes. Sometimes closure came when we tied the letter to a helium balloon and watched it sail away. Sometimes, closure came from simply the act of putting all those thoughts, feelings & emotions onto the paper.
So, since I am a “put your money where your mouth is” kind of girl, SHE-friends, I decided to give my therapeutic process a try. I am sealing my last box this morning and have begun moving out. By tomorrow evening I will leave the thoughts, feelings & emotions of my children’s only home at the doorstep and I will walk over a new threshold in anticipation of my “what’s next.” This is my letter of closure that I am writing in the dark quiet of the wee hours of the morning and then “reading aloud” to you, my friends, for closure. Ahhhhhhhh, sweet home, if your walls could talk…
Dear “only home my children have ever known,”
Ahhhhhhhhh, sweet home, if your walls could talk!
If your walls could talk, they would tell tales of the baby nursery, where I gently rocked each of my babies in the glider singing “Dream” by the Everly Brothers.
If your walls could talk, they would reverberate the laughter we had in the “toddler years” of the antics of Alexa climbing the cabinet shelves and always wanting to be close, while Austin, so very quiet, always disappeared in the house. How many times could I say, “Where’s Austin?”
If your walls could talk, they would clearly discern that the front bay window really IS the best place for our Christmas Tree for all the neighborhood to enjoy! How many times, sweet walls, did you hear us read “The Littlest Angel” out loud during the holidays?
If these walls could talk, they would tell of the little boy getting very sick, very suddenly and quickly at the age of 7 and the house being very quiet in the 2 weeks he was hospitalized.
If these walls could talk, they would tell countless stories of Birthday parties, Halloween parties, Graduation celebrations. Yes, we even had a Kindergarten graduation celebration! And remember the countless obligatory homecoming pictures on the stairs??
If these walls could talk, they would tell my little secret: I don’t cook much, but as my family would tell you, I “warm things up really good!”
If these walls could talk, they would quietly and gently talk about 2005, when everything changed. They would lovingly tell of a Mother’s anguish, her fear and her brief desire to leave this earth before her time due to that anguish and fear. They might even tell of the fog of anger that seemed to hang over the family during this time.
If these walls could talk, they would proudly shout to anyone who would listen of the courage this Mom and her two young children had as they navigated thru the horrific circumstances of 2005 and 2006. The walls would tell you how this Mom found her deepest voice within and decided to share her story so her children could learn to “take the elephant out of the room” by her example.
If these walls could talk, they would certainly tell you the love story that ensued a little later, as the Mom and her children began to heal and the secrete fears she harbored over how to trust a man again.
If these walls could talk, it would tell you that even though I smiled big and hugged hard every time I said goodbye to the kids when they went back to college, I would shut the door behind them and shed a few tears.
If these walls could talk, they would tell the truth about empty nester-hood and that it is not always rosy at first. They would tell you that it was hard work to “find” our marriage and love redefined without the distraction of our kids.
As I pack the very last box and sweep up the floors one last time, I think I just might sit a moment or two and listen. Listen to the memories one last time as told by these walls…and then I will lock the door behind me.
Sigh. Deep Breath.
The walls have changed colors a few times in these 22 years and have had to endure a knick here or a hole there (our nanny actually once fell UP the stairs at the top and her knee put a big hole in the wall!). I am not leaving them empty-handed.
In a few days, their new family will unlock that same front door and create something new, something beautiful right here, inside of these walls.
Oh, kind and gentle, protective “only home that my children have ever known,” like our memories, you can never be replaced. We are simply starting our next chapter, so that you can start yours.
Thank you, “only home my children have ever known.” I’m heading on over to the only home my grandchildren will ever know Scott and I in because…I AM NEVER MOVING AGAIN!
Note from the SHE files:
Sometimes closure comes from simply writing it down and letting it go.