The Double Life

Most people would love to own more than one home, right? Vacation in this one, live in that one, rent out this one… While the appearance of owning multiple homes is attractive, I’m not so sure it’s something I’d ever look into should I have the means to afford the endeavor.

Right now, we’re between two places. Our home sold, so we’ve moved into an apartment. We’ve been moving, I should say. Closing is tomorrow, but it’s been an intense few weeks of getting things moved, stored, and fixing whatever we needed to at the house. While we’re focusing on that, we’re also focusing on making this new place our home, getting it comfortable, settled, and functional. We’re stressed, a little testy, and burdened by the chore of it all.

It’s a lot of work to keep up with two places! Both my husband and I have shared with one another that we will be incredibly relieved – elated, even – to have the sale of the house behind us and be able to spend our focus and energies on only one dwelling. Tomorrow morning, good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, that will be our story.

These last several days, I’ve realized I’m kind of caught in this place – stuck between two places – in my own life. The house, being representative of Harlynn, and the apartment, representative of the present and future.

The house was what we had planned on having. Our hopes, dreams, and ways to make them all happen, were strategically planned out from within those walls.

The apartment is everything we have, after those plans didn’t happen. Not a bad result, just one far different from what we anticipated, and after the only thing we kept holding on to was our faith, after letting go of our will.

I’m stuck between those two places.

We planned on having Harlynn, bringing her home, having her and her sister argue over princess dress up clothes and baby dolls. Her life did not go according to our plan.

We planned on buying another house. That also did not go according to our plan.

Here we are, in a three bedroom apartment, serenaded by sounds of hipster music (is that what the kids call it nowadays?) and backpacks. Lots of backpacks. And trucks. So many pick up trucks. Who knew apartment living was so attractive to the pick up types?

I’m muddling through. Truly muddling. Trying to find a new place for all of our old belongings. Unpacking box after box (after box, after box…) and questioning the significance of everything we’ve acquired over time. Having all of Harlynn’s mementos here with us, but not having the faintest clue what to do with them.

I’m finding papers and files from years gone by that give me pause in remembering what I thought my life would be at that point, and beyond.

I’m finding things I thought were lost, and not finding things I know I intended to keep (I’m not pointing fingers, but… Hubs?). I’m finding phone chargers. Tons and heaps of phone chargers.

And I’m finding that it’s so much easier to just be in one place. I’ve been spending these last 23 months incorporating my life into Harlynn’s legacy, and likewise, incorporating her legacy into my life, but never living as if the two were a part of the same me.

Now I see, they are. It’s far more fulfilling to have one life. One home. One place.

As I enter this season – this one that’s always mixed for me – I’m trying to bring everything together in one me. Not the grieving me, or the mothering me, or the wife me, but just me.

March brings the birthday of our firstborn, who had her own dramatic entrance into this world and spent the first month of her life in the NICU. I always go back to that trauma we experienced, and seeing her today just blows my mind. What a little lady – a Little Miss – she has become.

April brings the anniversary of losing Harlynn, and the birthday of our Little Man.

It’s quite the season for me. And there will be lots of tears. But I’m not going to separate the emotions out into compartments (or boxes, sticking with the moving theme). Everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen later on is all a part of one me. One life.

No more making things harder on myself than they have to be. I’m settling in and finding out how to live here. Now. It’s far easier living in one place.

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