Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My emotional nakedness! Let me show you it!

We showed the house today, for the first time. To a lovely woman who was perfectly nice and didn't say anything like, "Hey, why did you drop so much paint on the floor?"

(She did say "Oh! How nice! A small dining area!" about the perfectly large formal dining room, but I digress.)

But she obviously did not understand. No one understands. No one understands what we've gone through to get that house to be adorable and bright and cheery (other choice adjectives from today).

With the caveat that I love that house and I knew it had to be done, these have been the worst ten months of my life. I'm counting the months Grandpa lived with use and both times my mom had cancer. We've been through hell and back with that house, and no one who is going to rent it will understand that.

No one understands the horror of having to walk in there in August. I don't think anyone is ever ready for that, but it was horrible. I still spend half the time I'm there crying. Today I started crying because I looked at the little strip of paper on the register.

My mom got %*#(&%# CANCER halfway through this thing, and other than arranging to have the floor delivered a week later, we didn't stop.

I don't think anyone will ever understand how it felt that day I freaked out and had to call Mary from the end of the driveway. No one will understand what it felt like to hear them throwing your grandparents' furniture in a dumpster. No one will ever understand what it's like to finally not be able to take it anymore and have a major meltdown in front of the electrician.

Yes. It's freaking adorable. Wanna see the scars from when I burned my wrist or fell down the stairs or impaled my shoe and part of my foot on a nail? I remember painting the back hall while my dad was listening to the Brewers play in that wild card game last fall. They're half way through another damn season already! THAT'S WHY IT'S ADORABLE.

So I'm thinking that we need to put out before and after pictures, or maybe hand people a card with the URL for this page, just so that they can truly appreciate what a fantastic house that is. Because the fact that we made it go from this monstrosity- this- ten months while dealing with unbelievable grief that doesn't seem to be getting any better, starting college, going to school, full-time jobs, and major medical problems? As Aunt Helen said last night, it's miraculous.

Now. If we could just have another miracle that would allow me to graduate and get a job that would allow me to live there, that would be fantastic.

Because I understand. And I will never forget.


mickey said...

wow :)

rockford said...

Some of us understand, Honey -- but unless you have gone through the day after day experience of slowly and painfully wrapping up the lives of two people who have been there for you and who you have adored for your entire life I do not think you can know the emotional strain (including the really slight detour that we took for that little cancer - again - problem) that this has been since that first day when we walked in there with Susan Temple. As difficult as the physical and emotional pain has been though, I would not change one thing about the experience. The early stages allowed me to feel that I was doing some small thing for Grandpa - I was doing what had to be done so that he had never had to it himself -- he died without ever having to go through and decide what to do with so very many things that would have brought him pain to discard - this I could do for him - one last little gift - and as that stage ended the really painful and empty part began - redoing what had been theirs - but as that progressed I began to realize that what we were doing was building a memorial to all that they meant to us - if there had not been so much love between all of us we would not be striving so hard to preserve a place on earth where so many of those memories are housed and where we can sit and just remember - if there had not been so much love we would not have cared enough to make sure we could hold on - somehow - to some of those feelings (like that little yellow strip of paper and his hat hanging at the back door...) It has been an experience like no other I have ever had in my life but we are so blessed to be able to have been part of it and shared it with each other - the five of us (ok, you and I on Fridays...) now share something very deep and very special - and that is a gift from Grandma and Grandpa....Thank you for being the daughter that you are - the kind that would not leave me alone with a task I am no longer physically capable of and the kind that is so wonderful that she saw this for what it was and never once viewed it as a "task" that had to just be done and the kind that would need to go to the end of the driveway and call her friend...Thank You and I love you and I wish you a lifetime of beautiful experiences in a place where I can look back on a lifetime of beautiful memories...