For the next two hours or so, I listened to the realtor talking as she walked through the house with my mama and uncle, commenting on how big it is, on the five bedrooms, what good shape it's in, trying to pry up carpet that needs replacing to see if there's hard wood flooring underneath. I listened as she said what a good house it is and how great it is that the only things that will need to be done to get it ready to put on the market are cosmetic, painting rooms, replacing light fixtures......I wished she would go. She couldn't believe how big the rooms are, how "just wonderful" it is, how the timing for putting it on the market is perfect.....blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.....I wish I could move here and make those changes myself and keep this house. Irrational and unrealistic, maybe.....but I still wish that I could.
I listened as they talked of selling my Granny's things at a yard sale. A yard sale.......the thought of strangers carelessly sifting through items that mean nothing to them, looking for a cheap bargain & haggling over fifty cents here and a dollar there, makes me want to yell and scream......and cry, yet again. The items from the kitchen.....they won't know how my Granny used those items, pots and pans and baking dishes....to love her family. They won't know how she put that secret ingredient.....an extra dose of love....into everything she served. They won't know that nothing gave her greater joy than to cook and bake for her loved ones, and how much pleasure she got from watching them eat and enjoy the fruits of her labor. How she would literally beam as she watched plates being cleaned and people going back for seconds, exclaiming how good everything was. Those baking dishes and other items....gifts given, from a daughter's cruise or a grandchild's trip to Sea World, and trinkets collected from family trips, will just be a good deal to them, something they picked up for a dollar or two from someone's yard one Saturday.
I listened more as they talked of taking down pictures, removing items that make this house a home, the items that are all pieces of my family's story, that tell the tale of the lives that were lived here, of the people who were loved, of milestones reached and accomplishments achieved, of moments shared and of memories made.......so that another family can move into this house that my PawPaw built "from the ground up" as I always hear my mama say, brick by brick. They won't know how the original family of five lived in a two-bedroom house until my mama was in her teens, how they worked and worked and worked at their restaurant and store and gas station, and worked in other ways as well, to save......until they could build this house. They won't know that in these rooms, I can still feel the assurance of the unconditional and desperately needed steadfast love that I found here, strong and steady when the world outside was not. It won't mean as much to them as it does to me......I didn't even realize how much it meant to me until now. I never knew you could be so attached to a house, but with each step of letting it go, along with saying goodbye to someone who was so precious to me, it feels like I'm losing a big part of myself, too.
One of Granny's sitters came by and brought a friend with her and they walked through each room, looking around, and I overheard them talking about the furniture, overheard the friend telling my mom that she was interested in some items....what good shape everything is in and what nice things she had. Much of it is already spoken for.....many items will be going into a house we are currently building and as I listened and inwardly raised my eyebrows, I'm pretty sure I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up and the thought went through my head before I could stop it, "too bad, so sad". Eloquent and mature, I know.......the thought of others rummaging through the items that made up my Granny's life and the reality of it happening is a hard one and I think I can sympathize well with people who are hoarders right now.
This day tore me up inside and I literally trembled as I struggled to keep it all in, keep it under control. The only way I could keep the tears and emotions at bay and keep my composure as the realtor and my mom talked to me here and there, asking me questions, asking my thoughts and input.....was to channel it all and write my way through it. I sat and typed as it all went on around me, smiling and talking when needed, while everyone thought I was working on something.....never having a clue that behind my calm and quiet demeanor, a torrent of emotions was threatening to erupt. I thought about how weird I am, having to write to keep those emotions under control, to keep from crying. The same compulsion to write through my Granny's death and funeral pull at me now. I told myself I was being stupid and that people have to do this all the time, that I should just get over it and it shouldn't be this hard, shouldn't be making me feel this way. And I heard the voice of a friend telling me more than once to stop belittling my feelings and struggles. That it doesn't matter what other people think or have gone through or are going through, that my pain is my pain and that I'm entitled to it and have to let myself deal with it in the ways that I need to. To stop being so hard on myself.
The only person whom I think could possibly understand what I'm feeling and why lives very far away, our family estranged by hurt and bitterness and unforgiveness. Relationships broken and severed.......but she would know and she would understand. I wouldn't have to try to explain anything to her.....I know she would know because this place in the middle of nowhere meant as much to her as it means to me.....she shared that with me recently, wrote nearly the same words to me that I have thought and spoken to a few when trying to shed light on this part of what I'm going through. I stared at her words in disbelief that, so completely different than me, she was feeling the same feelings and I found it somewhat of a comfort.....to know that maybe I'm justified in the depths of my hurting. Because I always have a need to justify it in order to allow myself not to feel guily for feeling it.
Two girls, six years apart in birth and light years apart in personality. Two girls who lived through the same childhood, survived the same dysfunctional family, different in how it affected us, different in how we reacted and responded, different in how our hearts were broken, in the wounds and scars left on our souls.....but forever bonded by blood and the hurt that both share whether different in nature or not.
On this chilly January night in Middle Georgia, as I write to try to settle the onslaught of thoughts that won't quiet down because it seems to help....it does help, enough so that I'm doing it regardless of what people think, I wonder if it's possible to feel more alone than I do right now and I wonder how many tears a person can cry before they just run out. Pulling my Granny's blanket up a little higher, I am beyond thankful for the Bible studies done, for the scriptures and songs that flood my mind in response to each thought and feeling that pierces my heart.....telling me, once again, that even though it feels as if I'm alone....I'm not.
(You can disable/mute the auto music player at the bottom of the page so as not to interfere with the video)