Monday, June 2, 2008

The shell is gone but the filling is still in tact.

This move was the most emotionally and physically draining experience I've ever had in life. I didn't do nearly as much on Friday as I had on previous days but when Todd got home from work I couldn't do anymore. I was just done.

To top things off we weren't able to bring our dog with us on the move so we took her Friday night to her new home. I miss her dearly. I want to bring her here. I want her to sleep on my legs, lick Mallory and Hailey, beg for her belly to be scratched, and spend the night with Tyler. Leaving her there while she peaked through the gate and my children and I sobbed was a tough, tough thing. Oh how I miss her!

We hit the ground running Saturday morning and everything took more trips and more time than we really thought it would. I am so grateful to my mom who finished packing my kitchen. If I never touch another piece of tape, cardboard, or paper towel again, it will suite me fine!

I can't imagine what poor Mallory and Hailey were thinking as they watched everything we own being taken from our house. The house was almost empty when I loaded them into the car and headed for the storage unit (not to store the kids but our stuff of course). They fell asleep on our way over and slept while we unloaded (our stuff); thank you Faithie for sitting in the car with them so they could sleep. They left with Grandma Ofiara shortly after that and they haven't been home since. They haven't yet seen where we put their toys and their clothes. We got them new beds that they haven't slept in yet. Mallory is ready to come home and I'm ready for them to come home. I miss them terribly. I always do when they go to Grandma's but I usually appreciate the break. This time, I just miss them. I am sad because when they think of home, they don't imagine this new place for them. They imagine their twin beds and their pink walls and their big, big closet. But when they get here they will find bunk beds, teal walls, and a closet they share with two big sisters. Yeah I know they don't care about closets!

I ended Saturday physically tired but emotionally pretty unscathed. With how busy we were I didn't let myself pay attention to the condition of our house or how empty it was. But, we had to go back yesterday to pick up the last couple of things. Faith and Karli were happy to visit with their friends for a second who were riding their bikes in the neighborhood. I was okay to see the garage and pull up my last couple of plants in the backyard. But to go inside and see the empty rooms was unbearable.

Mallory and Hailey's room especially was the most difficult to see empty. I noticed the glossy area of the walls where they had spread candle wax. The same candle wax was also spread into their hair and I had to use olive oil and dawn dish soap to get it out. The bleached area of carpet from the softscrub they dumped there. The nail holes where the letters 'M' and 'H' used to hang. The spot where their cribs were before their big girl twin beds were placed there. And the spot on the door where Hailey attempted to write her name.

To go into my son's room and still be able to smell his cologne; he went through puberty in there. To enter Faith and Karli's room and see the spot of chocolate on the carpet that will never come up. Karli hid an ice cream bar under her bed and let it melt there. That was only the beginning of eaten things and empty wrappers I would find for four years under that bed of hers. I could recall the echo of their made up songs and dances in that room and the awful way they argued in there every morning before school.

And my room I shared with my husband. Where he held me night after night while I cried from depression, from the loss of his cousin, from an argument. Where we had many a serious chat. Where we prayed together. Where we snuggled with all our children and our Lexi. Where we all wrestled and had tickle wars. Where my twins jumped on the bed. Where Todd would throw me on the bed and tickle me until I beg him to stop. Only to try and hold him down and get him back. Oh man did I cry as I walked through that house. The only house Mallory and Hailey have ever known, where I threw a surprise 30th birthday party for Todd, where we had a fantastic Murder Mystery party for my 30th. Where we celebrated about 30 birthdays! Where Tyler, Faith, and Karli learned to swim. Where they each found a best friend. I could go on with the wonderful memories and pieces of our lives that are secrets within the walls. I only hope the next family is a blessed there as we were.

The memories we made in each of those rooms made me cry. I'm not sure why though. I no longer live in the shell that contained our family but I still have my family. I still have my husband and children who created those memories. A house is a house. It's a shell; the people in it are what make a home.

Sunday ended like any other Sunday. My children settled into their jammies and prepared for another day of school screaming "get a room" across the hall as they heard Todd and I wrestle and tickle and banter each other in our new bedroom. I think they were just mad because it wasn't a family tickle fest. And today, it started like any other Monday.

3 drops of sunshine:

Wendi said...

Wow, emotionally draining just to read it. Hard to imagine what you must be going through as you actually experience these emotions and memories. How wonderful to conclude that having your family with you is the most important thing! Your family sounds so wonderful.
I pray that God will show you some really neat things as you settle in. That new and sweet memories will be made...
My heart ached when I read your previous post as well. What a difficult thing you guys have gone through in all of the unknowns surrounding your husband's cousin’s death. I am so sorry. I actually think I may have seen something about it on the news.
I'm so glad our God is one of peace, healing, and redemption! With out Him we would all be so hopeless.
Thanks for sharing such personal things. I always learn so much from other's transparency.

Anonymous said...

Kari, I'm so glad that you have gone through this open, and writing about it instead of keeping to yourself. Thank you for sharing this piece of your life and your heart with's a pretty weighty piece...I don't take it lightly. All of your "home" memories made me wonder what it must be like for people who go through not just leave the home, but the one they made the home with. To not be able to take the family along with your memories...and I felt so blessed that neither of us will ever know that separation, that tearing of our hearts. And just like you said on my myspace today....we have so much that we haven't lost...the most precious things in life...when some around us have. Counting my blessings....and yours...and thankful you are warm and protected from the elements tonight, safe in a home.

Patty said...

I know it was hard leaving the house, but I know being at your parents will be good for you to start over. I also know that you and Todd will grow from all of this. Hopefully when your family gets a new home you can also get a new dog and really start over and have even more memories.