Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Learning to be okay

We sold the house this weekend. It was on the market technically two days and we had two offers in. The realtor for our buyer came by last night to drop off earnest money and stayed and chatted for a while. My ego was loving all the accolades being given about how nice the house is - the beauty of the wood floors, the lushness of the backyard, the gorgeous upgrades we did in the bathrooms. Selling a house is a rough way to get compliments on it though. When the contract came through, I wept. Joe had countered the original offer, which was very good in and of itself, with an amount we didn't really think would come through. Truth be told, we aren't quite ready for this to happen this fast. We have nowhere to go, nothing picked out yet. So we still have nowhere to go, nothing picked out, but will essentially be a cash buyer. I am hoping to find an older home from the 70s in Plano that needs fixing up, to buy it relatively cheap and to go in and make it too into an uncommonly lovely home. I love doing this. For me, it will be my first home purchase. Joe bought this one for us. This next one we are buying together. The economy and circumstances keep me pretty quiet about my excitement over that, but it hums inside me when I am alone with my private self. It is a very proud thing for me, to have enough money to buy a house.

School is almost over. I have given myself a lot to think about this semester. Basically I kept school in a quiet background. I did my homework, did my studying, but worked consciously hard on not letting it be a focal area of my life. More like a hobby. The result was that I learned more, have higher grades and enjoyed the class. Note to self: All that mental anguish gets in the way of the goal it is trying to reach.

How many things in life can this be said about? Most things I suspect. I know I have addressed it time and again, but learning to be okay with being okay after the loss of a child is a huge hurdle, one I suspect most people don't get past. It feels like a sin against your child, his memory, your love for him if you are able to go out and not only appear happy but actually be happy. Learning that sadness and joy are not opposites, but in fact live side by side, hand in hand, that this is the paradox that life is, in all its complicated glory, can just about take you over the edge. We don't think that we are supposed to be happy within sadness, or sad within joy. But there are threads of one within the other and it bears noting that contrasts are specifically given by the Artist I think to make things more noticable. Punctuation points if you will. I am growing more accepting these days about so many things. My capacity for grief. My capacity to love. That I am the kind of friend who doesn't need constant interaction to continue affection, that I am a bit reclusive but also a bit of a partier. That my desires don't necessarily conform to what would be considered normal or respectable for someone of my age in my situation. That I have never been and never will be the kind of woman who makes men yearn and other women wish they were me. That I am my own unique self and within that self is power, compassion, the will to go forward, the ability to weild knowledge, wisdom, change. It feels good to be getting good with me.

Joseph's 16th birthday is fast approaching, on May 26th. It occurred to me yesterday and has lingered like a little shadow in a corner of my mind since. Experience tells me that shadow will grow as the day approaches. Wisdom tells me it will overtake me from time to time, but release me from its grip in a wisp of shaken smoke and life will continue forward and Joseph's spirit will continue on with me. I can both be glad Joseph has a birthday and yet dread its approach.


Lizz said...

Congrats on selling the house. Mixed emotions are so hard to deal with. I know you can and will make it through with grace.

karengberger said...

Great news about selling the house; now buying another will be an exciting adventure for you, Joe & the boys!
As to Joseph's approaching birthday, I your words are truth. You said it all beautifully, and I'm so glad that you did. It helps to hear it from your perspective, too. XO