We’re painting the upstairs of the house. The plan is for us to move up from the basement apartment into the main house. And for grandpa to move down into the apartment. We’re swapping spaces. The kids are cautiously excited about having their own rooms painted blue and purple at their request. We’re going to move their ‘stuff’ up on the weekend, and let them take a stab at setting it up on their own. Giving them ownership over their new space is a part of the plan, let them make it their own, let them choose where to best put their fire truck book, or whatever. We’ll see how Mummy’s OCD manages this one.
Taking over rooms that were once occupied by gramma and grampa is a bit confusing, and exciting. For me too. I’m technically moving back into my childhood bedrooms. Fresh paint and new art and our furniture and our children will help it feel more like ours and less like hers, but still, she’s there. The process of dismantling the rooms is therapeutic. Emptying out once full closets immediately breathes new life into them. The possibilities are seemingly limitless. What’s going to occupy those shelves now? Will my kids hide in the closet with flashlights and read late at night like we did as kids? Or turn it into a fort. Or a private safe place. It is new and exciting, and exhilarating to be finally moving out of the basement.
It’s sad and mournful too. I’m erasing more of her life while I make way for my own. Grandpa has had to say goodbye to the room they shared, now to be filled with picture books and firetrucks and a brimming tickle trunk. We’re all starting over in a way. We’ve spent 3 months (gosh has it only been three months?) in a suspended state of reality. Moving through the motions of life but not making any overly drastic changes. But that changed this week when the painter arrived. We’re now moving into our home, not in with grandma. Setting ourselves up to be ‘home’ finally. Breathing new life into rooms that were holding onto memories of a past life.
It’s good. and It’s hard. I’ve given myself a timeline. We are setting ourselves up this week so that when we return from our August vacation we will all be in our new spaces ready to prepare for the fall. Like most mothers and those who attend or work in schools! My year begins with the turning of the calendar to September.
So in a few short weeks (sorry it’s true!), the new year will begin afresh. New school and Kindergaretn for Tommy, New term for me, Adjustments for Maddy attending daycare without her brother, and Mat will start year two at work so things will hopefully start to feel more familiar. We’ll be in our new space, and I’m determined to be done with decluttering and organizing by then. I need that process to stop so that I can start living again, and not just spend my days plunging through the mountains of stuff that have piled up around me.
With the changing of the seasons, we’re hoping for a change in our grief journey too. At first, things were hard and messy and our peaks and valleys of grief and despair were difficult to navigate. But the mountains are settling down into more manageable hills. With fewer emotional extremes we’re hopeful that the journey will be more tempered, still, there will be bumps, but I’m hopeful that we’re also going to begin living the life she dreamed for us. At least that’s what we’re aiming for anyway. But for now, I’m going to finish up the current chapter and finish putting things away into their new homes, clean and fresh just waiting for new life to take hold.