I fell in love with you at first sight. You offered me up that nursery in the third bedroom with the hot pink built-in, bolstering my belief you would shelter me raising a baby there as a single Mom. I committed to you that very day- the first day I went looking.
You watched my heartache two years later as I realized that was not my destiny, and nurtured me back to a new life. You allowed me to change my mind on that, and so many other important things.
You helped me create a warm, lively space–even with your postage stamp kitchen– where I made so many friends and hosted all of those elaborate dinner parties, defying your limitations, as we served out 6-7 courses and countless buffet spreads. Remember that Sex and the City party and the Galentine’s dinner? Unforgettable.
You let me take you through so many iterations of color- from all of those amazing K-mart Martha Stewart paints my Dad and I slathered on before moving in, to the Tuscan theme with that one red wall and the Ralph Lauren suede other ones. Then that crazy gilded Venetian plaster tangerine ceiling with the faux leather craft paper walls, to my Neopolitan chocolate, vanilla, strawberry bedroom. We finally landed on shabby chic simple white for the last years, but of course used 5 shades of white to jazz it up.
I learned I could mend many broken hearts with you, by tackling hard projects like tiling that entire corner tub and shower myself, including that mosaic step! Even when my foot got pinched regularly on one of the impractical artsy raised tiles, I felt pride that I designed and accomplished that on my own.
Remember that night you started blowing out smoke from behind the kitchen wall and it snaked through the outlet scaring the crap out of me? Because I blew some circuit or outlet, using the microwave and toaster oven making a stupid fish dinner at midnight? And all the handsome firefighters who showed up with me with my hair crazy from the bathtub wearing my pajamas?
You nurtured me through bouts of pneumonia, awful breakups where I lost and found myself again held together by your walls, and recovery after getting run over by that car.
We had our cats there and devastation of losing them. My precious Buddy went to Heaven in your living room and Mia died in my arms in the carport. They nurtured me through everything.
We saw the planes hit the World Trade Center there together and you absorbed my wailing from what was then the upstairs office with that Dell desktop I viewed that tragedy on in real time. You also heard my sobs of relief when Scott Peterson was convicted that day, after months of obsession and involvement.
You stayed with me that night until 2am after the American Idol concert, when I changed my mind and decided to write my own victim impact statement to read the next day. Little did we know, it would change the course of so many things. It kept me safe, just like you did.
I slept alone there so many nights forgetting to lock my doors- that one time the door stood open- OPEN- all night and you kept me safe. Thank you. Also, remember the ghost that visited that one time who left the door ajar and signed on to aol as a “guest”? And the haunted colonic machine those people gave me that I couldn’t get rid of? And the time Rob made those midnight beet cocktails in the kitchen that exploded out of the blender all over, creating a crime scene on your white cabinets and walls and floor? I wonder when they tore out those cabinets, if they saw that beet juice spatter dripping down the walls–it was EVERYWHERE. I wonder what they thought it was. We did our best to clean you up but still….
I traversed nearly my entire business and professional life, being held to restore, safe-nested in your walls. I wonder if you felt as relieved as I did when I found the perfect person to let it go to, and completed that part of my life. I needed you for every bit of that.
I’m sorry I left you alone, unprotected, and you had to endure all the devastation of that flood by yourself. I guess it was the only way I could release you- to lose you as I knew you, completely. I hope you let me go during your complete fascia-lift and feel the readiness I see in you for for your next life. You and I, we completely transformed together–two blank slates at the same time. I hope you feel it too.
Even though those pink shelves from the nursery are long white now, you are getting the baby we dreamed about now with your new family.
I found my own family and I got a little girl. In fact, they found me the New Year’s Eve I got stranded and couldn’t make it back to Sedona because of the snowstorm. I heard my now husband (can you believe after all that failure you witnessed, I finally found him 15 years later?) tell me he loved me for the first time as we stayed up all night talking on the phone, nestled in the womb of your living room. I hope you were happy for me then, and now.
It was hard to let you go. I had to fight to do it- with myself. In fact, I’ve been so busy fighting to let you go, I haven’t grieved you until this moment (tears). I made a good decision and I went to war for your (our) value.
We both deserve it.
I will never forget you 5254. We lived together far longer than any other place in my 59 years. I grew up with you. Please keep an eye on my Dad and brother.
I love you forever.
Now some reflective images, in no particular order.