Almost 3 months ago I received this card from a friend, and it was a lovely surprise to have something posted through the letterbox to my new address.
From actually getting the keys, to moving in to this new house, however, was 3 long months. So much has happened in those 3 months.
This house was to be a fresh start, our ‘grown up’ house, as the children have all finally, flown the nest and we had outgrown our ‘family home’ or it had outgrown us!
At the time between selling our family home and getting the keys for the new house my other half was waiting to have major heart surgery. He had the surgery 10 days after getting the keys and is recovering, slowly but surely.
We were worried and anxious about the surgery beforehand, which is normal, I guess, but one day before getting the keys to the new house I received the devastating news that my best friend had terminal cancer and her time was very short,
This news superceeded everything else going on in my life, including my other half’s surgery.
She was due to come here, to stay here, as she lives in another country. I was looking forward to her coming, to seeing her, as it had been two years since we last saw each other in person due to Covid and restrictions.
This will never happen now. We had been friends for 45 years. We were like sisters and her death, two weeks after being given the news of her cancer, has had a profound effect on me.
When you think of people you go through all the memories, the shared moments and experiences. I visualise things and see her/us together in all sorts of places, school, shops, holidays, hospitals, pubs, clubs and our homes. It makes me smile and it is a bitter sweet feeling, knowing that I will never see her here, in this new house, this new home that I am trying to create.
When I left my old house, I said, ‘it is just a house’ the memories come with you, and they do. So ‘home’ isn’t necessarily a house is it? In creating and decorating and getting this house ready to live in, I take all my memories with me from all the people that I love. My family and my friends.
The day I came up here, after my other half had his op and my friend died the ‘New home’ card was on the mat in the hall. As I opened it and walked into the living room there, flying around was a butterfly. To me, it was my friend waiting for me and greeting me, letting me know, that she was there.
The first thing I did when I did move in was to plant a tree for her and to put up some garden ornaments and tree spinners, to create a garden in her memory, somewhere, where I can sit and talk to her and make new memories in this home.
The sadness of grieving her is still there, but I have to carry on and continue to make this house a home for my other half and I and for our children and grandchildren when they come and visit.
I think it is the people in our lives that make a house a home, whether they are with us, near us or have passed over across the great divide. So long as we love them, cherish them and feel blessed to have them beside us and in our hearts, then we can feel at home.
Even though I have moved away, to a new area, a few hours drive away, this ‘grown up’ house will be made into a ‘home’ while we count our blessings for the life and health that we continue to have, and we will welcome old and new friends and look forward to discovering this new place, that we can come to call home.