The countdown begins!
Seven days and counting! My departure date is creeping closer and now is the time when the butterflies are starting to flutter around in my stomach off and on. Don't get me wrong, I've moved (hmm...counting...) 12 times since high school. So I have the whole packing and moving technique down to a science. But up until now my moves have been from city to city, so I was never leaving anyone or anything very far behind. This time is distinctly different. This time I'm leaving the province. This time I'm not close enough to just drop in for a visit. Oh there will be a visit or two from family and friends at first, everyone checking out my new home. But as the novelty wears off it will feel very far away from everyone and everything I have become accustomed to.
Then there is the house. When I moved out of my last house, I felt nothing. There was no tears, no sadness. It just was. But this house has almost become a part of me. During the five years I looked after my parents, I couldn't leave this house for more than a couple of hours because someone might need to be helped to the bathroom, or a dropped pill picked up off the floor. I had virtually no social life. So this house, for five years, was my world. I almost felt a little agoraphobic just at the idea of leaving it to go out to work all day when I had a summer job working at a bakery last summer. And now the reality is sinking in that in one week, I will be pulling out of the driveway and looking back at this place for the very last time.
This house is photo album. When I am out on the deck I can still see my dad sitting in his chair, taking deep breaths and closing his eyes and sighing..."it's like being up north at a cottage' he would say. I can see my mom sitting with dad beside the pond, watching the fish and the fountain. The sound of the water and the birds was a tonic for them. And so it was for me, late at night when everyone had gone to bed and I was no longer needed. This time was my time. Sitting on the deck and looking at the stars wondering about all sort of things. Listening to the sound of the water trickling in the pond, hearing the trees rustling in the wind. Just me and the quiet balm of the night.
Like any photo album though, there are some sad and tragic memories too. Things that have happened in this house that are hard to forget, when you still hear the echoes of pain and sickness that have been recorded on the walls. Some memories scar you in ways you never imagine. Some memories touch your soul in a way that changes you forever. Holding the hand of the dying makes you examine your life in a whole new way, makes you realize how short this corporeal journey really is. Suddenly things that seemed important in your life in some way or another become hopelessly trivial. And things that you neglected in the past suddenly have a whole new importance. Dreams you never paid attention to start gnawing at you in a way you can't ignore any longer.
And so, with a double edged sword on my heart I will be taking a long last look at this place over the next week as I continue to pack. Some memories will make me smile. Some will make me cry. And a few will make me laugh. I will try real hard to leave the sad ones behind and take the good ones with me. I don't know exactly what awaits me in my next place, or even what kind of place it will be. I don't know if this will be a journey into dreams fulfilled or dreams failed. But....I have a dream. And in one week the journey to the dream begins, good or bad. I hope mom and dad will be watching over me.