Within You

I sit in you, restricted by movements and visitors. With the plumbing and floors and cabinets and counter tops shouting for repairs, I spend my days, imprisoned by the world’s change. The memories are trapped within your newly painted walls and crowding me with smiles and tears. Boredom falls over me like a blanket and I snuggle in it, ignoring the obvious signs of improvement within you. And I hate you, all this time, I hate you, then love you, then hate you again, spinning my web of emotions, desperate to catch peace.

I avoided you for days and weeks, escaping to a place which offers me change and solace and respite. I leave you so I may find some calm in the chaos Death has caused, only to come back when I need friends or familiarity. When I return, you and your memories welcome me as if I was the prodigal daughter and yet, I can only stay celebrated for so long. Then, I leave again, running away from all that overwhelms.

But now, in these past three weeks, I am imprisoned in you, captured like some stray animal wanting to run. And I sob out the grief I still hold that I ignored with my trips to my other place. While I sit in your lap of recollection, I can’t disregard the memories of good that will never be again, the ugly I looked away from, and the imperfections flawed people have while building a life together. All of these echo within the soul of you and I want to put my hands over my ears, block out the painful volume, yet you pull them away, forcing me to listen. And it is painful. It is a pain I thought I already felt and handled A pain I know now I just avoided.

Despite this suffering, I have to thank you. You have been the beating heart of my life for so many years. You have protected and housed all who have been the deepest part of me. You have lived through so much with me, and still stand, weary from the lives lived here. You gave me joy once, the best joy I’ve ever had in my life. For it is within you I lived my purpose, what I felt I was meant to do, what I wanted to do as a mother, as a wife. You gladdened my heart with the making of all these memories, memories I can never make again in you because things are different now, things are harder now, things need to be changed now.

I know I must leave you. I have to move on to a place not built by a collective, but rather by myself. I can’t stay covered in a pile of past memories. I must start my own mound. My husband has died, my kids are grown and I am left to survive and live alone. The challenges I have left in me and my new purpose, need to be created and worked on in another place with only my stamp on it. For you are my past and I need, no want, a future in some place else. I need to release you so you can be the setting for someone else’s plot in life.

With every night fall, I am surrounded by your silence. There is a certain peace with just the two of us now, and there is a deep pain in knowing we are the only ones left. The memories of you to lull me asleep, those same memories alarm me awake. But those are not the reasons I need to leave. They are only the realities while I am here. They are what I am staring down. They are what is healing me.

And so, my old home, I will be saying good bye soon. I’m not sure how that will look or when. This pandemic has taken future plans away for now. The only thing I do know for certain is I must leave. I do want to thank you. I am grateful for all the time I’ve spent in you. With the smiles of memories and the agonies in reflecting into the imperfections of me, of a partnership, and of a unit, I have grown more.

We have been quite the pair, just the two of us, both emptied of what we can give each other. These past few weeks, I have been pinned to you, in you, paralyzed by this pandemic to even make movement toward an escape. And I need you, including the pain of you. For in you, through the good and bad recollections, the constant frustrated reminders of your repairs, I feel the painful peace of letting go in order to move on. And I hate you for giving me the agony in the reasons. And I love you for making me see them.