A home without books is a body without soul. - Cicero



It's just under the surface, like the tiny bubbles in the pot just before the water comes to a full boil. We're in limbo. Everything is in boxes, or piles, or bags, or stacked in corners or on counters or on the floor, waiting to go.

There are empty hooks on the walls, places where happiness and art and love once hung. Now the hooks stare back at me blankly, and it seems as though I can see the imprint of what used to be there, like some sort of ghostly reminder. Every surface is covered with dust, except the places where a vase sat, or a picture frame, or a book. Those have all been packed up, once again, leaving an imprint of what used to me. The bookshelves are empty, save for a handful of magazines and home improvement books.

The kitchen is the worst. Empty hooks where the measuring spoons hung beneath the spice cabinet, an imperfection in the dulling wood of the countertop where the mixer's white coating flaked off. The drawers are half empty. I agonized over which melon baller to take. The curtains I made will stay. My rolling pins will come with me. Do I leave the crockpot or take it?

Suddenly, these decisions become overwhelming. Paralyzing, even. I stand in front of the cabinets for ten full minutes, weighing the pizza wheel and the ice cream scoop.

In the end, I take the nice melon baller and the second best ice cream scoop, and I put it in the box with a plastic sippy cup that the girl hasn't used in five years, and our toasting flutes that we haven't used in over eight. I stack that box on top of the others, neatly labeled, pick up my keys, and shut the door.

For tonight, at least. Soon, I'll be shutting that door for the last time.

But I'll still have the imprint. And that house will still - always - have mine.

1 comment:

  1. Leaving the old house filled with ghosts of past hopes is hard whether one admits it or not. Some find relief, but buried somewhere is the pain of the loss. Seeing the physical absence of the physical things only underscores the emotional absence of what the home stood for. The new colors of life that you will decorate the Yellow House with can spackle over the holes in your heart left by the last few years. There may still be the imprints but they will be largely filled by the beginning of a new home that represents your reemergence as the Mamma and protector of an amazing little girl.