I never realized how much I would forever associate real estate with family until I became a Still Mother. When we were pregnant, we realized it would be best to move. To find a house with more room for toys and the boy I was carrying. We began looking at houses while I debated the ethics and manners of trying to not barf in strangers’ toilets. We found a great home on a street filled with kids! Near schools, a great bedroom for our son – we had found our family home.
Except, we didn’t all get to move in.
My husband moved in while I was in the hospital and Thomas was waiting to be interred. The day I entered my “home” it felt cold, empty and fraudulent. It was no longer a “family home”; I couldn’t bear to look at the room I had picked out as the nursery – which was already painted blue, by the previous owners. I couldn’t look at that room for a full year. I could hear children — playing, laughing and their shrieks of joy – and it was torture. I felt locked in a tower of despair, destined to see and hear my greatest desire but never partake.
Four years went by, in my tower. But we weren’t miserable. We had lovely visitors and memories of laughing, cuddling, random attacks of giggling while brushing our teeth at night. Puppies becoming dogs and hide and seek with my niece – while she announced her hiding spot. A third puppy, in my husband’s attempt to heal my heart – spoiler: that didn’t work – and many quiet but pretty Christmases. When my husband told me he wanted to move, I didn’t really take him seriously. But he kept talking about it and eventually I had to start listening. For whatever, crazy, deranged reason, he wanted a more rural property! I am not a rural kind of gal and his hours are not those of a person who has time to tend of acres of land.
We looked at houses and houses – this time without any concerns of bodily fluids in strangers’ toilets – walking through houses with little boy rooms or nurseries just killed my soul. Finally, we found our home. It is a modern home, surrounded by trees. It is a hilly property with lots of room for the dogs to run. It has a very modern, open concept flow. In short – it is not a home or property for those with children. It is not a family home; but it is our home. It is a great property for the wiener dogs; they enjoy the deer sightings, the fox smells and much more room to chase tennis balls. It would not be my choice for the life I wanted – that of a healthy, happy 5 year old boy.
Our last day, before me moved, I walked around the house. I remembered walking through it, pregnant, and oh so sensitive to smells. I remembered putting it in the offer they had to remove all the plug in air scented devices, grin. I remembered my sister and niece, bringing me home from the hospital, helping me climb the porch stairs – unsure what plan b was if I couldn’t climb them. I remembered learning to climb the stairs to the second level and the stark terror I felt and the strong arms of the man who loves me. I remember the rainy day of Thomas’ funeral and Rob placing Thomas’ ashes on my lap and saying “you ride with your Mama”. I remembered my therapist coming to this house, because I was too sick to get to her office. And the torrents of tears shed. Miles of tissues. And the beginnings of healing.
Thomas has never seen our current home, his heartbeat has not been present – but he is very much part of the fabric of our family. It is easier to see stars here; and I can see “his” star so much better. There is a wooden carving, of a small boy with a heart of gold – that represents him – it sits on a table with a view of all that is going on.
Thomas has never been here, but he very much lives here and he always will – as long as we do.