What a difference a year makes….
One year ago, at this time I was scared. I was nervous. I was sad.
I dashed to the beach one last time, with my paper cup of coffee and sat there and cried. All that remained in our house was the coffee maker, our pillows, some toiletries, a change of clothes, Lucy’s litter box, and her bowls. I called my mom, in tears.
“You make choices in this world. You chose to leave. And now you have to choose to be happy or sad,” she said. “You can continue to sit on the beach and cry or you can smile and think of all the wonderful memories you had there.”
I smiled and cried. I wiggled my toes in the sand one last time and walked slowly to my house, my home for only a few moments more…
Lucy was freaking out. She had been for days. After all, little by little everything she knew disappeared. I sensed she worried her dad and I would disappear too. I showered quickly. More quickly than I would have liked. I wanted to cherish the last few moments, but I also didn’t want to prolong the inevitable.
Dressed I gazed out my bedroom window, enjoying the view of the beach one last time. I was memorizing it, even though the sight was already deeply instilled in my mind and heart. “Hilary, we got to go. NOW!” My husband bellowed from downstairs. “Lucy is losing it.”
I ran downstairs, feeling sorry for my cat. Worried about her. And worried how she’d handle the trip. We practiced driving with her, of course. But this time it was for real. We were leaving home. She was leaving home.
Lucy handled the trip better than I expected. During the hour plus ride, I kept my tears at bay. I knew if was upset she’d sense it; she’d get upset. I didn’t want to do that to her. Marc and I kept the conversation light and the music calming. But both our minds raced. This was it. There was no turning back. We are going to the new house, a place still so far from being a home.
Eventually, we pulled into the driveway. I carried Lucy in her travel bag, whispering words of encouragement, words of love, every step of the way. We opened the door and released her from her bag. Immediately she spotted all HER things scattered about. I was almost able to see the smile on her face. She sniffed and searched every inch of the house. Hours later she was out cold in her tree house we placed by one of the windows.
We didn’t have a kitchen. The walls were only partially done. There was pretty much no furniture, and still tons of construction to complete. We were living in a house, not a home. But we had each other, and we had our future ahead of us.
We were starting a new chapter in our life. It was night one. And we toasted to it…
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