Saturday, May 16, 2009

Conceding to the Truth

Wednesday night there were severe thunderstorms in our area. As I was going to bed I heard a loud thump of something falling outside against the house but I resisted the urge to investigate. As long as the house was intact, I could live with the suspense. In the morning, two large tree branches were resting in the front lawn. They were so heavy I had a hard time moving them on my own, which I needed to do because one was blocking the side door we use to enter the house.
Now I have to figure out how to cut up the branches. I don't have a saw and am not sure I'd use it (or allow the boys to) even if I had one. I need to recruit someone for this and it will probably cost more money than it should...

My deceased husband handled all the yard work - thrived on it! He had started out his college studies with the intent to become a forest ranger and only changed majors because he got into an argument with his academic adviser. Although he was a very gifted teacher, I often felt that a part of him was still off in the forest somewhere. So when he was alive, I never worried about the yard work (and we have a heavily wooded-double lot). Since his death I just can't keep up with the yard - I can barely keep up with what needs to get done in the house!

We had an awful tornado two years back and that was another project I'd really like to forget. Currently the entire yard is covered with weeds that I just can't seem to get to what with now working. Part of me thinks that it is now really time for me to throw up my hands and admit defeat. Yes, I can't manage this 2,500 square foot house and double-sized yard on my own anymore. I tried and have somehow gotten through the past few years (I always end up hiring a yard cutting service) but it seems that I now have just reached the end of my rope. This isn't a single person's home, or the home for a widow with busy kids she has to drive around to social and athletic events. This is a home best suited for an intact family where both spouses appreciate the abundant trees and flowers and have the time to garden and tend to the yard.

I now understand why people downsize and move to Florida. In my case, I've resisted trying to sell because the market has been so bad. The joys of home ownership have certainly not been present in my life for some time. My house is older and requires tremendous upkeep. I can't afford to make the repairs so they get worse. I should also mention that my husband was pretty handy and did all the painting and repairs that were needed. Without him around I have to rely on handymen who don't show up or those that seem to cost too much. I think I have finally reached a place where I am feeling less upset about having to downsize into an apartment. And that has taken me a long time to come to. It is the direction I feel I should move toward now although in doing so I struggle with tremendous thoughts of defeat and blaming myself for not having been able to keep up and handle things on my own. The reality is that I just can't any longer. And somehow that seems more honest and real than pretending I can.

Today I am grateful:

1. For the $1.00 box of hot, fresh popcorn they sell at the high school concession stand - I pick up a box every time I'm there to see my boys and get such a thrill from a great, cheap treat!
2. That the tree branches didn't damage the house or roof.
3. That I've moved to a different place - less judgmental on myself and more willing to face the truth.
4. That the boy's first summer baseball practice is today and it is the start of a new, fresh season of that wonderful sport.
5. That a part of me believes it will all work out in the end and that whatever happens, it'll be okay.

1 comment:

  1. I did downsize about a year and half after my husband died in 2005. I decided in that time my life was too big to handle, so I sold off our business, sold my big house and moved across country from California to Minnesota where all my family lived and where I was brought up. The move has been so liberating and taught me many lessons of letting go of stuff and living a life that has more meaning.

    I love my new townhouse, whenever I want to go away I just lock the door and leave! I have more freedom which has helped me heal.

    I now am dedicated to helping others on the journey through grief;
    JoAnne Funch