Well, it’s time. Time to move.
Hubbs retired from military in November, and we’ve been in our military housing in Pacific Beach since 2015. We love this little home. We have LOVED our street. We love living close to the beach, to our friends, to our gym, yoga studios, favorite restaurants, close to Bravery’s amazing school, (and were only 15min from the hospital during Amelie’s cancer journey), we have truly loved it.
I wish I could say that I’m so excited. I’m so ready! I’m all hopeful and positive and hip hip hooray! Time to decorate! (I love interior design). But I’m not. I am ready to leave this area (the homeless people, the college party-goers, the weekend beach traffic, the Uber drivers flying down my street, sailing and crunching over speedbumps thinking our cul-de-sac is a shortcut. newsflash: it’s not.) But I don’t really want to leave this house.
Amelie died in this house. In her room. In my arms. In her bed. Her darling little room that she loved so very much. I don’t want to pack her things, store them in a sad little box, never to see them again. I don’t want to take all the fairies down from her walls, or pack up her dollhouses, or all her blankets, trinkets, stuffed animals, toys, books. I don’t want to fuckin do that for one second. I am, however, heading in the direction of being “ok” to pack up her clothes—mainly b/c my nieces will inherit them and I’ll get to see her clothes living and breathing once more. And that’s just it—right now, even with her gone from my sight, her room is ALIVE. the kids play in there all the time. Audrey, our fantastic 5 (going on 25) year old neighbor plays with her toys all the time. It’s “Amelie’s Playroom.” I sleep in her bed often, I mourn in there. I pray, I lay on the floor, I talk to her in there. Every morning I walk by her room and say, “Morning Amelita” or “NightNight Lulu” just because it feels right.
We leave a light on the room all the time. A pink salt rock lamp that never turns off and, in several years, has not once needed a new light bulb. NOT ONCE.
I don’t want to pack all that up, just to then move our life into some shitty tiny house in a not so nice neighborhood because that’s all $650,000 gets you in San Diego (yep, you read that right). That’s a LOT of money. but in this town, it doesn’t get you far. I feel so sad for people who will never be able to buy here. We can buy—it won’t be nice or upscale, it won’t be fancy or gated, but we can buy SOMETHING, thank GOD—and yet so many can’t. I’m so grateful and so sad, all wrapped up into one.
I keep repeating the words, “God will provide. Have faith. Have faith.” like a crazy person. When I drive around and see the run-down houses, the fear, sadness creep up and tighten my throat, I think, “Have faith. God will provide.” (and then I get mad at people, like, take care of where you LIVE! what’s wrong with you?!? You’re 15min from the beach and it looks like a trailer park! Imagine owning a $800,000 home, and your neighbor has a pitbull chained to the fence. Come on man.)
But then I think, “well get a friggin job and you’ll get the house you want.” I really love being a stay at home mom. I really love being with my son all of the time, cooking every night, picking him up from school every day, having the house to myself in the morning for quiet prayer, reflection, restoration. When Amelie and Brave were toddlers all I wanted was a break. Now I get one with school, and I just truly love being the CEO of the house. It calms me, invigorates me, and I work TWICE as hard being a stay at home as I EVER DID working full time. (some days, 3x as hard.) and I haven’t quite let go of the dream of having another—yes, even at 40 yrs old—so there’s that.
The strength it takes to begin packing her room sometimes comes effortlessly. I was in there the other day, I noticed some medical stuff, her IEP binders, and her bedside drawer filled with all things she needed as a quadriplegic. I immediately got ANGRY. I tossed ALL of it in the trash that instant. Then I pulled out all her blankets—she has like 15—and laid on them on the floor, thinking “who’s daughters I can pass them down to?” It was relieving and renewing to do all that, so I started her stuffed animals, then had a breakdown. Then I stopped, promptly put them back in the closet, and ate an entire pint of ice cream.
Her bed has to go. It’s an expensive Leggett & Platt platform moveable base I bought with donation money, so we could lift her up and down, massage her, and keep her upright when she was vomiting. It weighs a ton and I need to sell it. but the thought of haggling some cheap jerk on Offer Up or LetGo over this insanely nice, extremely emotional item, does not appeal to me. Yet it has to be done.
In fact, I think I’ll sleep on it right now, where I’ll quietly whisper to myself until I fall asleep, “God will provide. Night Night Lulu