Today was a very “moving experience.” Packing up all of your worldly possessions is a daunting experience, but it is even more so when you are having to “divvy up” everything 50/50, with no one to assist you through the process. Wearied from sinusitis that continues despite recent sinus surgery, & emotionally drained due to the whole settlement process, I was too tired to feel much of anything. As the movers followed me out of the neighborhood that I have lived in & loved for the last eleven years, past the road where I walk down toward the tranquil pond, by the homes of the many neighbors that I’ve come to love, through the row of perfectly manicured shrubs & red sugar maples ablaze with Fall’s most brilliant colors, beyond the pool where I sought refuge & a tan at the same time, I was reflecting on what this neighborhood has meant to me. I’ve walked the streets countless times, trying to get in a little exercise. But it was not until I passed the antebellum mansion, Greenlawn Plantation, that I burst into tears.
A couple of minutes down the highway, I pulled into a furniture store, where they were holding a new bed & chair that I had purchased. I tried to regain my composure, but since I was paying the movers by the hour with money I really did not have to spare right before the holidays, I wiped my eyes & ventured inside. The movers, faces filled with concern asked, “Are you all right?” I replied, “No, but I will be.” A total stranger then posed the exact same question, to which I answered, “Yes, I am okay!” However, when the store manager, a very nice man who is a client of mine asked the exact same thing, I burst into tears again & sobbed, “No, I just loaded all of my worldly possessions into a moving van, & left my home behind!” Then, I went over & hugged him. If his wife is reading this, please note: It was a very platonic, “side hug”, & he was so very gracious to allow me to do it. I then asked him if he would please direct the movers to my new furniture, because I needed to step outside. I did not wait to see the look of relief on his face that I am sure must have followed. Reminding myself of my professional reputation & the fact that I am well known in the community, I regained my composure, & the movers then followed me to my beautiful new town home.
They had been hard at it for several hours, so the first thing that I did was order pizza for them. I had only bottled water & protein shakes to offer for beverages, & as I opened the refrigerator door to get them one of each, the shelf fell out, & with it, a bottle of wine that a friend had given me to “celebrate” my new found freedom. It broke into a gazillion pieces, & soon the smell of wine filled the entire room, making me cry once again. The poor movers, nonplussed by the displays of emotion, insisted on cleaning up the mess all by themselves. One of them confided in me that he too, had gone through the agony of divorce ten years ago, & assured me that I would be fine. “You are already very strong”, he told me, “because you have taken this step & moved out on your own.” (Yeah, right, I thought. I cannot even clean up a spilled beverage right now.) From that moment until they left me several hours later, they became my protectors, making certain I had a place to sit, & that the process was as stress-free as possible. My brand new bed, a luxury I allowed myself, arrived, but they forgot the brand new mattress pad that was supposed to accompany it. There was not room enough for both my china cabinet & buffet in the dining area. The wind slammed the back door, causing the valance for the blinds to fall down.
And so on, and so forth it went, until my “affordable movers” (who turned out to not be so affordable, but whose demeanor & care & concern offset that) left me alone with nothing but the sound of the radio to keep me company & reflect on the many misadventures associated with my move. Adele, in her song “Rolling in the Deep” was appropriately serenading me with “We could’ve had it all”. Funny, how music makes an indelible impression on the events which unfold in our lives. Though this has been a necessary thing, I was not up for any celebrating, but I was suddenly very hungry, & I as excited that Steak Out was just down the road, so I ordered steak tips, & set about unpacking my boxes. I unpacked my vehicle while waiting on my food, & my new next door neighbors, an extremely personable & cheerful couple, came over & introduced themselves. Though I would normally have been mortified by my unkept appearance, I was so grateful for their intrusion, because it meant that, for just a moment, I could focus on something other than the task at hand. After they left, I grudgingly went inside to start work again. Typically adept at organizing things, I was way too tired to even decide where I wanted to put things, so I called my daughter, on pretext of asking of she wanted a piece of furniture for which I might not have room. After a few moments of chit chat, my food arrived, & I sat down at my mahogany dining table that I’d earned through my real estate commissions, & ate my very first meal in the privacy of my very own place, something I had not done in over a quarter of a century.
At this point, I was unaware of what the radio station was spinning. All I could hear was PEACE. The total absence of anyone complaining about – ANYTHING at all. I wish I could say that it was a marvelous thing, but I missed the chatter of children, the arguing of siblings, & the blare of the Play Station! Nonetheless, it was MY silence, in MY space, & it was MY time.
I hope to, in the future, fill my space with the laughter of my (adult) kids, their (future) babies, & maybe, if I am lucky, the laughter of a special man in my life. For now, with no boy friend, & no prospects for one, I shall be content to spend my free time unpacking my gazillion moving boxes, laying out by the community pool & finding tranquility by my new community pond. I shall keep myself busy by continuing to provide the very best service available to my real estate clients. I shall do my best to do my small part in making my community & the world a slightly better place because I passed through them. And if, by some miracle of fate, I find true love, then I shall be very grateful. But I am not searching for it. I believe that love, real, everlasting love, is something that cannot be bought & sold wholesale, but that it is a gift to those who are fortunate enough to believe in it. I shall continue to mourn the passing of important phases & significant people from my life. I shall be unafraid to shed tears of sadness, or tears of joy. I shall continue to share the inner workings of my heart, however I feel called to do, & despite objections of some that it is “too personal.” I shall, to put it in the simplest of terms, be unafraid to live my life, in the way I feel called to do it, & to express my emotions, or to have “moving experiences.” I pray that each of you will be able to do the same …