It has been far too long since I got my thoughts out in digital ink. This is the craziness that lays siege to your life when you are getting ready for, do, and then recover from moving.
As I sit here tonight, in my 90-percent-finished home office, the process is almost done (as the 90-percent might indicate). Just a couple touches remain in the office, a few new items for the media room, and a professional to come and install some of those common components. Here–take a peek at the main office wall…
The hardest part of this wall to put together was the collage on the right-hand side.
One of the reasons we decided we needed to move was to get a fresh start away from the nightmare memories that haunted the old house. As I told the rep from our property management company on the final walkthrough, when she commented on how it looked like no one had even been in “that” room for a long time, Micah’s room has basically been free of human interaction for almost 18 months. A couple nights, for the sake of family staying over, Avi stayed in her brother’s room. On a handful of occasions, one or more of us would go into the room and sit on the futon, just staring at the wall and communing with Micah. But that was really it. No one that knows us–that knew Micah–ever wanted to spend the night in that room. Too many memories, good and bad…too much Micah for anyone that knew him to deal with.
Things have been so busy, so hectic over the past three weeks, that I never took–never really had–the time to deal with the emotions that surrounded what kept me so busy. This is the House that Micah Built, but this is the house that Micah will never sleep in. This is the house that bears his number on its address plate, but this will never be the house that Micah grabs his gear from to go play hockey. This is the house that I purposely equipped for listening to music, but this is the house that will never hear Micah’s tenor voice practicing for a concert or an audition.
Have you ever felt like you wanted to scream yourself hoarse, but could not make a sound? Have you ever felt sadness that made you want to drown in your own tears, but could not utter a single cry? That’s how I have felt with regularity over the past three weeks. We have a beautiful new house with so many of the things we always wanted, but cannot share any of it with our son. On my wall, I have a collage of pictures of my family–all four members of my immediate family… I sit and stare at the pictures. I cannot believe they are what I have left of my son.
We will push onward. We will endure. We will celebrate everything that Micah was–as we try to not dwell on everything he could have become.
I know these feelings are going to overwhelm me at some point soon. Three weeks of packing… Three days of painting the new office… A solid week of moving — one evening getting mattresses and electronics over, one day of moving the big stuff (with the help of movers), and one very long evening of getting things that were left behind… Three solid days of clean-up at the old house… Three days of unpacking boxes and trying to get things organized… All now behind us, behind me. As the haze lifts, I’m afraid I know what reality I will see.
The moving process was an eye-opener. Yes, we’ve moved before–but this seemed so different. With Cynthia being gone for the week leading up to the move and the week immediately following the big moving day, I often found myself alone with Avi, with a number of adult tasks needing to be completed.
The harder I worked, the more my out-of-shape body showed its age. First it was the pain in my left knee as I climbed a ladder–but I kept climbing. Next, it was a stiff neck every morning, but I kept an eye on my surroundings. The stiff neck became a very sore right shoulder. Throughout all of this, I pressed on. I suppose this was in part because I don’t like to give up on things I start, but in larger part–I felt I had no choice. Cynthia was not here. As thankful as I was to the friends like Robert, Scott, Johnny, Roxanne, Todd, Claire and Linda for their help throughout the week, I did not want to abuse their offers of help. They gave what time they could, and what energy they had to spare–but when their energy was spent, I again felt alone. I had a couple other offers of help, but it came at times when I could not voice what help I needed.
It’s still weird going from a situation where so many people were around me, offering to help whenever I needed it, enjoying the fruits of the help that I provided them–to relative silence. Maybe I did not make the call for help loud enough, or did not shout those calls in the right directions. Or maybe this is just what my personal transition is really going to be like…
It’s time for a vacation. Hopefully the weather and the Cubs will cooperate to make it a relaxing week…
I want to keep writing, but right now, the heavy eyelids are using their veto…
Until sometime this week,