Posted by: DD | March 8, 2007

no. 397 – Home is Where the Heart Is

20070303_goodbye_house_4Tell me, when is it acceptable for faded vomit stains on a carpet and a border lined with pink giraffes and orange elephants to make one break down and sob uncontrollably?

When they are in the first room your child ever knew surrounded by some stranger’s crap.

We are closing today on our other house, if all goes well.

If all goes well. Ha.

20070303_goodbye_house_11 This past weekend, we went to the house to get the last few things out, which were just some towels in the bathrooms and a couple of boxes from the basement. When we walked in, we were stunned to see the next owner’s possessions piled everywhere: a disassembled dining room table, a couch, a matching rocking chair, an entertainment center WITH the TV and an assortment of moving boxes. In the bedroom, their bed was set up, but with no linens. Both closets in the master bedroom were full of clothes. In X’s room? Another bed, half assembled. More boxes of crap and more clothes in that closet. Everything had the subtle odor of eau de Lap Dog and Old People.

20070303_goodbye_house_3It was when I was standing in X’s room, looking at the juxtaposition of the nursery colors against boxes of fake greenery and a stranger’s photos that I lost it.

Mr. DD asked what was wrong when he rounded the corner and found me there. "This is X’s room! They have no right to put their shit in here!" I felt a little hysteria creep into my voice.

We were told the new owners wanted to bring some things over, but Mr. DD and I both understood that they were to leave it in the garage. We called our realtor who "assured" us that the new owners had renter’s insurance and that they had even switched all the utilities over into their names.

20070303_goodbye_house_1_1As much as I wanted to get rid of the house after we moved, I am feeling very, very sad. Almost all of his baby pictures are made of scenes created in and around that house. Our son was created in that house. I painted this faux welcome mat on the front porch during my "nesting" stage.

Somehow, before I was ready to say good-bye to it all, in my way, it was snatched away from me. I’m hurt. I feel betrayed somehow.

I want to grab my son’s blankets, go back into the house one more time, curl up on his floor and just weep.

20070303_goodbye_house_edit I’m saying good-bye to so much more than a house. Even more than just a home. I’m leaving a little bit of my soul there. Even sadder, probably Vivienne’s as well. Somehow, I feel like I’m saying good-bye to what I had left of hope.

Am I pathetic or what? Never mind, don’t answer that. I already know the answer.

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Responses

  1. I have decided to stop beating myself up for feeling sad, for being sad that I’m sad.

    Feel what you feel, own it, and then it should pass. It’s okay to be pathetic sometimes.

    Well, that, and I don’t do change so well. Triggers, confounding factors, life.

  2. First you are not pathetic… Second – while I didn’t love my apartment or my first house both times I moved I went into a deep depression… couldn’t pack the boxes. The first move ended up being accomplished by my best friend, her boyfriend, and my current boyfriend and a moving company. The second move required – my husband, a friend, and my in laws… I fortunately had to work for the second move, but the first I believe I was sobbing in a closet. So… me – pathetic – I had no true happy memories or pictures from either place yet letting go of those things was hard for me to do.

    As for the new owners – I think that was over the top. They hadn’t closed yet… it wasn’t theres and it violated your space that you hadn’t given up yet and said goodbye to. I’m sorry that they did that.

    I hope the closing went through and that you are doing okay… thinking of you and of your memories.

  3. Moving into your house before the closing: not cool. It is still YOUR house before that happens. Boo to them for violating house sale etiquette.

    Yes, you’re saying goodbye to that hope. The hope that all of this would be easy (or at least easier) than it has been. But that hope was already gone, wasn’t it? It’s just the sale and move that’s triggered the realization of its loss.

    You can build new hope in your new home, though. If you want to.

    As for the other – I hope the closing on your new house went off without a hitch today.

  4. Definitely not pathetic. We rented before we bought this place and I still get little pangs about the memories when I drive past and see other people`s laundry hanging out on the balcony etc.. I hope everything goes well with the closing.

  5. Dear DD, oh, that must have been so very hard. Saying goodbye to a home is hard enough — especially with those memories in it — but not to be able to do that on your own terms is infinitely more distressing. I’m so sorry.

  6. I think it’s the feeling of loss, isn’t it? We’ve had too much loss already.

    I hope you can say your goodbyes without too much sadness, and think of the future (in all ways)

    x

    PS I have dreams sometimes where I can still go back into the little house where I lived alone before DS was born (I sold it to move in properly with DP when DS was 14m)

  7. First, I have NEVER heard of people putting their stuff in a house before closing. Your realtor should have kick their butts back to the garage.

    Second, I’m not one to talk about this…I got sentimental over the twin’s infant seats that we’re selling this weekend. I can’t imagine how I would feel about an ENTIRE ROOM.

  8. No, hun, you’re not pathetic at all! The home we lived in when we had Starlet, we moved out of a little over a 1 & half later. I bawled. Uncontrollable sobbing like a baby bawled!
    But just think of all the great new memories that your new home will provide. I know its barfy, but you know me… just trying to be Princess of Silver Linings.

  9. Not pathetic at all.
    And I’m sorry that you were rushed out of your home. Not nice at all. And certainly not helpful.
    I hope the new home is wonderful.

  10. Just try to remember that you don’t leave the memories behind…they’re portable…they go with you everywhere. And I hope you have many years of making happy memories in your new home. {{{hugs}}}

  11. I am NOT good with change. Even the little house we rented in the woods, which I hated because it was cold and drafty, because of the huge hill we had to drive up to get to it, because it was so small and didn’t have a washer dryer, I cried. I made my babies there, that is where we came back to after our honeymoon. It was our house.

    It is sad to leave a place with so many memories. You just have to make new ones now.

  12. There is never any reason to feel pathetic about being sad when leaving a home you have a lot of history in. I recently moved as well and I still feel sad about leaving my home. It was the first one my husband and I bought together after we were married. Although a house is made of wood, bricks and drywall, the memories you made in that house will be yours forever and no one will ever be able to move into those.

  13. Pathetic? Nah, just human.
    I’d hate to see someone else’s crap in the house I have so many memories in, too, especially beds that are already put together and clothes in the closet…
    Give them the evil eye at the closing, I hope they get the hint that what they did was really dumb.

  14. I still get misty when I go by the house I grew up in…. I moved out in 1986.

    I still have a key to that house.

    Catherine has a point. Your memories are portable. Plus, you have a whole, new canvas to paint more memories in. A HOUSE is just a place to keep your stuff. What’s important are the people and memories that you share with these people that make it a HOME.

  15. I would’ve felt the same way. I don’t think you’re crazy!

  16. I’m sorry, DD. I don’t think you’re pathetic. I think you reacted the way anyone would have.

  17. It is a bittersweet moment. I think it’s only natural to feel the way you do.

  18. Not at all pathetic! Homes hold a lot of memories.

  19. Absolutely NOT pathetic. I got all choked up when we moved out of our first apartment when we got married. These homes are where we create memories. To see someone else in the same space just…seems…wrong.

    Speaking of, I cannot believe that their stuff was all over the house. They freaking moved in! I would of been a little pissed about that.

  20. We built our house 15 years ago. It is the only house son’s know. We don’t even have it for sale but thinking about it makes me sick. I am HORRIBLY attached to memories. I feel like if we move it will all be gone..I am weird. Some people move every couple years..what’s up with that??

    Also-new peoples stuff in YOUR house..stupid and rude and kinda creepy too.

  21. You are NOT crazy at all. I’m so sorry they stomped all over your house.

    When we moved, we were going to a great new house, but we were also leaving behind the house my living children came home to, and the place my lost children never did. Leaving behind those memories was awful, but watching the new owner tear apart and wreck/ “renovate” my beautiful home was even worse. He let the garden go to hell in a handbasket. I have never regretted anything more than selling that house to HIM. We had to sell it to buy the new house, but oh if only.

    DD, don’t even drive by the old house, ever again. If this hurt today, then you really sound like me, and you will be hurt even more later as they change the house to suit themselves. Don’t torture yourself.

  22. What is wrong with those people? It’s insane to move stuff in before you close.

    And of course you aren’t pathetic. It’s such a bittersweet thing and a big transition. I hope your closing went very well.

  23. Definitely NOT pathetic! Sorry I’ve been absent for a while. I’m not a terribly sentimental person, but I can totally imagine seeing someone else’s stuff in MY KID’S room would get me. Especially if it was yucky stuff.

    But how exciting that you’ve closed on your new house!

  24. Buying, selling and moving are such emotional things. It’s not pathetic. Leaving behind memories like that is a difficult thing.

    As someone who’s in the middle of the stressful process myself, I can feel your pain.


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