Why is giving up our home so difficult?

October 20, 2009

Today I called a realtor about selling my home. Moving was so painful when my divorce went through years ago, that I purposely bought a post- marital home costing much less that I could afford. I had my plans, but life takes its own twists and turns.

I should have been ok. Upon divorce, I left court with a decent property settlement. I was granted child support and lifetime spousal support, there was a hefty life insurance policy with the cash value court ordered to cover our daughters’ college of choice, and more. However, I never dreamed the divorce decree, it took me 5 years and way too much money to get, would amount to little more than a very expensive piece of paper with little backbone.

As my story goes, my ex would bail on his court ordered responsibilities, steal our daughters’ college fund, and drag me into court many, many times … post divorce. I’ve now spent more post-divorce than many spend divorcing.

So when the realtor answered I burst into tears. Fortunately she didn’t hang up on me thinking I was a crazy person. That’s probably because she is the same realtor who sold the marital home for me years ago, just weeks after my divorce became final. And she helped me buy the home I am now forced to sell.

Today’s phone call has sent me back to the move divorce required. As the tears flow, I’m journaling as I’d advise my clients to do. And I’m sharing it with you, because I guess that’s what authentic blogging is all about.

The Divorce Move, Thank you very much.

rosie-the-riveter-7219After the fact, a source told me everyone in my neighborhood thought the divorce had really taken its toll on me emotionally because I was moving from a beautiful waterfront home to an absolute pit down the street. The neighborhood thought I’d gone crazy. I felt like a pioneer.

My daughters (ages 8 & 11) and I moved what we could ourselves and the rest we had loaded into “pods” and taken away to storage. One “pod” was quite special as I’d let the girls play in it with friends before they both lovingly loaded all their precious toys into it.

After we all watched the “pods” begin their own journey, I fondly remember the neighborhood kids helping my daughters roll the basketball hoop from the “old place” to our soon to be new home.

My daughters too were pioneers. And I loved them more than ever for it.

Then came the day we all tearfully said good bye, and thank you, to the only home my daughters knew. To ensure our home would be loved by it’s new family, we left a note and balloons to welcome them. We then locked the door for the last time.

Next we walked to the neighbors across the street from our new home for a lovely dinner. As the sun began to set we said our thank yous and our endearing hosts walked us across the street to our “new home”.

As we approached the dreadful dwelling, my daughters looked up anxiously at me, asking “Mom, you aren’t really going to make us live here, are you?” I choked back tears, telling them “It just needs our love. Really. You’ll see.”

Ceremoniously, I let my oldest unlock the door and we crossed the threshold into an entryway that couldn’t have been more wonderful.

Magically, it was filled with tons of colorful balloons leading all the way down the hallway into our bedroom. It turns out that while we were eating dinner, our hosts had arranged the surprise. It made all the difference in the world!

For nearly a year, my daughters, our dog and I lived in one room of the house while the rest of our “pit” was being transformed. We watched in awe as workmen demolished what needed to go, moved the stairway, built new walls and installed working appliances.

Amazingly, there were benefits: I let my kids (and the neighborhood kids as well) chop down trees and branches in our front yard, plant flowers, and rollerblade in the house. Having no kitchen, we ate out so much we couldn’t wait for the day we could to cook our own meals and wash our own dishes.

In the spring I ripped up ivy and laid sod myself in the front yard. I painted the outside of the house myself, and gave the workmen a scare when I tumbled off the ladder splattering paint everywhere. Fortunately, except for scrapes and bruises I was okay.

Next I planted, replanted and replanted again new shrubs and flowers my daughters and I had bought. I moved things around so much, that once again, I’m sure the neighborhood thought I was crazy.

However, I gained the respect of all the manual laborers working in the neighborhood as they would wave and smile at me whenever they passed by. I felt honored. Neighbors driving by would stop and compliment the progress, many commenting, ” I didn’t know a person could do that.”

In the end, through our own blood, sweat and tears my daughters and I built a beautiful home that we were proud of. It became part of us and we thrived.

Now we must do it again and this time, my heart hurts even more.

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