I just want to be closer to you

Today is heartbreaking in so many ways. As we work together on the office, I know this is likely my last home improvement project with Aubrey for quite a long time. With the mp3 player blaring and dust flying, I am hoarding every second of her random vocalizations, her quiet but purposeful sweeping, her step by step as she follows whatever organizational list she has in her head. Aubrey is my decorating buddy, the one who sees what I do (most of the time), when I’m choosing colors that other people think are crazy. She knows exactly when to hold the door, which nails to pull, where the ziploc bags are for the hardware. She’s the one who assembles the IKEA furniture (with her eyes closed, no joke), crawls under desks to plug in wires, and climbs the ladder to do the hard stuff at the top of the wall.

Just as I’m learning to deal with the impending loss of my daughter, I am still dealing with the loss of Isaac. To every single one of you who is right now thinking, “Oh for God’s sake woman, get over it, he wasn’t your kid,” I say with the deepest love and respect, fuck you. That’s like telling someone who loses an adopted baby to SIDS to get over it because it wasn’t really their kid. I’m sorry, but when you stay up worrying about them, take care of them when they are sick, and go pick them up in the middle of the night when they’re hurting or in trouble, I think that gives you the right to miss them, and every right to grieve the loss of them from your life.

In a perfect example of wherever you go, there you are, I thought that moving would help me to heal. I thought that not having to walk around the house seeing his ghost in all the rooms would make all the memories fade. Not so. Not that it’s made it worse, it just hasn’t made it better.

It doesn’t help that I desperately NEED to talk about it, I NEED for someone, anyone to validate these feelings, this grief, this overwhelming sense of loss. I need just one person to say yes, you’re right. You’ve suffered a loss and you have a right to grieve. Cry, scream, yell, fling things around, get angry, cuss, let some of that grief go. Instead, I’m not allowed to talk about it, not allowed to feel it, without the lectures of “it’s time to move on, let it go, get over it.”

I guess that’s the flip side of sadness to the coin of Aubrey’s looming departure. It’s such a final gesture. That’s it. He’ll be gone for good, because it’s not like he’s going to chase after her to Massachusetts. He’s certainly not going to come looking for her here, mainly because I don’t even think he knows we moved. I know it’s time to move on, let go, get over it. But for the moment, I’m just going to cry for a while, fuck you very much.

“My mind wanders through all that I’ve been hiding from, I tried not to let you down,
Now I wonder if I’ve been doin’ something wrong, Help me get my feet back on the ground”

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“You’re my home”

It’s been almost three weeks since we closed on this house and moved in. Boxes are still everywhere, most of our (IKEA) furniture is still disassembled (the greatest idea every known to man for people who move like gypsies), and I still don’t have cold water in my kitchen. However, this is quickly becoming home.

This house is the perfect combination of what Ron and I wanted. His few demands were that it be liveable; it had to need only minor repairs, have a working kitchen, and a working bathroom. I wanted something with a little character, that was structurally sound so that I could work on the cosmetic aspect. We didn’t expect that it would be just three minutes from Ron’s office, with an awesome backyard, and a glorious covered patio. All that was just a bonus.

However, we also didn’t expect that the family room carpet was hiding a subfloor full of wood decaying from years of pet urine. That had to be ripped out, and a new subfloor put in. Now we’re slowly working on laying the tile. It put a slight kink in my time schedule, as I can only do stuff for a few minutes at a time, and then I have to rest. Having fibromyalgia makes it a REAL pain to have to move.

I have never seen a less functional house. The layout is all wrong. The air conditioner is in the wrong place. The kitchen, although it has a million cabinets, has very little functional storage, and a whole lot of uselessness. The house has no dining room. As Ron said, “We’re too poor to have a dining room.” The fridge space is too small, and if you open the fridge door, you block the kitchen door. There’s a 9 inch step down from the back door to the patio (I know I’m going to break something eventually). There is absolutely NO storage in the bathroom. In fact, the bathroom mirror is over where the linen closet once existed, while the cabinet above the sink has no mirror at all. Figure that one out! The master bedroom has windows that aren’t symmetrical. The closet organizer in the master closet might as well not be there, for all the good it does. There’s almost no closet in the second bedroom. The back patio has a fluorescent light instead of a ceiling fan. But the most egregious of building errors is the acoustic tile on the master bedroom ceiling. Seriously? If you need to hide a water leak, use KILZ, people!

BUT….all that said…the master bedroom is huge, and the master closet is twice as big as they one we used to have. When we pulled up the master carpet, I prayed that the padding was stapled, not glued. It was neither. The pad came right up, and Aub had the tack strip up within an hour. The hardwood underneath is gorgeous. The family room will be MY space, and Ron gets the second bedroom. Aubrey gets a tiny 8 cubic ft playhouse, and a giant 10×14 ft shed that will eventually have electricity, air conditioning, windows, insulation, drywall, and flooring. For the moment, it will have a ghetto a/c in that we are going to run an outdoor electrical extension cord up through the floor so she can have light and air.

Between a major fibro flare from the constant motion before and after the move, as well as sleeping on a horrifying hotel bed for a month, it’s been tough getting this place in order. I had originally planned to start with the office closet. Something small, but necessary. Other than getting a few of the non-functional shelves out of the way, I gave up on the closet and moved on to the actual office. I’m in a sort of limbo while I wait for Matt to sand down the hideous ceiling texture (supposedly tomorrow). It doesn’t make any sense to tsp the walls when he’s about to cover everything in dust.

It’s frustrating, since of course, I want everything RIGHT NOW. As a crocheter, the 100 degree temperatures merely serve to remind me that winter is on its way, and my yarn is still in storage. I had wanted to send Aubrey off to Massachusetts with all mom-made hats, gloves, and scarves. Of course, she’s a fantastic crocheter, as well, so she’ll be able to make her own as she needs them, but still…

On top of everything being torn apart, and my being stopped flat with the flare, I woke up yesterday morning with excruciating pain in my left ear. I thought for sure that a bug had crawled in there and was burrowing its way into my brain. Aubrey, after attempting an insectectomy with a crochet hook and the flashlight on her phone, determined that there was nothing in there. She took me to the minor emergency clinic, where I was diagnosed with just a severe ear infection. I’m on my second day of antibiotics, and at least the pain has subsided, although everything still sounds like it is underwater. Yup, another two days down, and nothing done. Sigh.

Once I’m back from dropping Aubrey at school, I’m hiring some help. I can’t keep up with this house, even as small as it is, AND try to get it in order. I need a once a week housekeeper to keep the dog hair in check, a weekly pooper scooper to keep the dog poop in check, and I’m going to have to figure out what to do about doctor’s appointments. Especially with my pain specialist, they won’t do any procedures unless I have a driver. Sigh. May be time to put up signs around the local colleges.

In the meanwhile, I’m trying to focus on one bucket at a time. I can do a bucket a day. I can do one piece of furniture a day. I can do one box a day. At this rate, I’ll be done unpacking in time to make it to Aub’s graduation.

“Well I’ll never be a stranger, and I’ll never be alone, wherever we’re together, that’s my home.”