I Will be Happy

Posted on | May 22, 2011 | 16 Comments

Hello, little house.

I have missed your creaks and corners.  I have missed the holes in the walls where our things used to hang and the cracks in the paint along the top of the crown molding.

Hello, back yard, with your ivy covered ground and your too-tall pine trees that always terrified the other person who used to live here… that person who can not be scared by your swaying bases any longer.  Hello, wrinkled patio with the wraught iron fence and the small round brick circle that used to boast a plum tree.  The tree died and was removed before I had the chance to mourn its passing.  Another lost thing.  Another lost love.  But in it’s place, a cheerful hydrangea in cheerful lilac, planted with love by my father and mother.

I was happy here, once.

I lovingly painted your back bedroom a soft, chocolate brown when I was seven months pregnant with my son.  When we were happy, once a long time ago, that person who used to live here with me crammed himself next to me in the too-small bathtub to finish painting the formerly gray room a vibrant minty green to offset the pink.  He told me we would always and only use watermelon soap to wash our hands there; a half-empty jar of it still sits beside the sink.  Half-empty; reminding me that I, too, am often half-empty.  At least these days.

I will be happy here again.

I tucked my hair behind my ears, a self-conscious gesture for a self-conscious girl, and strapped on my Get to Work boots.  I mopped the floor.  I strung tiny little lights on faux Tiki torches to cheer up the patio.  I gutted gaudy gold Goodwill picture frames and replaced the baby angels and floral scenes with my favorite quotes.  I painted the room that used to be the guest room and I called it my own.  I hung the painting: the one I bought from Modern Bird Studios with the entirety of my Christmas money; the one of me in a white dress and that person who used to live here.  I hung it in the nursery; it is too pretty to put away. It is his parents as they once or never were. I try not to look at it as I rock my sweet boy at night.

I cleaned and tweaked and wore myself out trying to make this a home… again.  But one room remains stagnant.  An empty box.  A not-so blank slate.

I will not go into that other bedroom.

I can not go into that other bedroom.

The memories in that bedroom are too strong; they taste bitter and salty against my tongue as I choke back the tears and shake back the memories.  It is a room that smells of lost hopes and dreams; a room that cries from the tips of the window shades to the weathered boards of the floor.  It is the room of the people who used to live here.

I can not go into the other bedroom. Not now.  Not yet.

There is work to do.

I will be happy here.


16 Responses to “I Will be Happy”

  1. Chunky Mama
    May 22nd, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

    Yes, you will. I am certain.

  2. Tara@DoTheseKidsMakeMeLookCrazy?
    May 22nd, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

    Like you, I initially wanted to board up the master bedroom and never go in it again. But I didn’t, primarily because the bathroom is awesome. I changed the bedding, got rid of all evidence of him in the bathroom, and spread my clothes out evenly in the closet. I’ve debated painting it, but I love the color.

    After awhile, it became mine.

  3. Pam
    May 22nd, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    I”ve taken that room and set it aside. It is full of boxes and things and one day it soon it will be a creative space. Art making space in a new color with light and transformation. One day when I’m ready. You’ll be ready to make it into something eventually. No hurry. None at all.

  4. KristinaYellow
    May 22nd, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    I love how you described your home. With colors you love. With flowers you know. You inspired me. I planted this weekend. In colors I love. And I will pick out paint and make my room something inviting and happy-no more white walls. And I will hang pictures. No more bare walls just because someone else doesn’t like “clutter.” You inspire me. You will be happy. You are on your way. And I’m so proud (and have to admit, a little jealous of your hydrangea!)

  5. Erica Snipes
    May 22nd, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

    I love reading what you have to say. Clearly not becuase I rejoice in the content, but because you write so beautifully. I hope you find it helpful that others are finding shared experience, and compassion in what you have to say. Also, those of us who are not walking that mile in your moccasins right now, are still admiring your walk, thanking you for sharing it with us, and knowing that even though we may not share a common experience right now, our prayers for your home, and your happiness with your son, are appreciated. Yes, indeed, you will be happy. I wish you a lovely journey, and I do hope that eventually you can make that one bedroom your own, just as you are beginning to do with the rest of the house.

  6. Jennifer
    May 22nd, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    Baby steps. You don’t have to do it all at once. I think you are off to a great start.

  7. Cindy
    May 22nd, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

    Your last sentence needs to be a declaration for your future…you WILL be happy again. My “Message from God” today seems to fit here…just keep practicing…
    On this day, God wants you to know
    … that you learn what you do. If you worry a lot, then day after day you are learning how to worry even better. If you think about doing something a lot, then you are learning how to think about doing. Every moment you are happy, you are learning how to be even happier. Every time you act, you are learning how to take an action even better. What is it that you’ve been learning today? What is it that you want to learn tomorrow?

  8. Steph
    May 23rd, 2011 @ 12:08 am

    After my divorce I stayed up for 2 days stripping things and cleaning things. It’s cathartic. My divorce was the opposite of yours in that I filed and I don’t write about it or talk about it because it was so long ago and so painful. But there is something cathartic in moving on and out and up. Changing the small things in a places that remind you of the change in your life can help you to move forward. Give yourself time and you’ll go in that bedroom and make it yours and it will become a part of the next chapter and not the chapter that you fear, not the chapter that causes you to mourn the loss of something or someone, but the chapter you write when you start to heal and believe me, that chapter does come. ((((HUGS))))

  9. Janet
    May 23rd, 2011 @ 1:13 am

    You are not a house or space. You and your child are a family wherever you are. The room is a room- not feelings. Eliminate the unproductive feelings however you can. They serve the purpose to teach you not to hold you back. You are stronger than I ever was and I made it through. Keep striving for the future- it will get easier & you will be better for it. By the way, you portray such grace and elegance through this that I am envious.

  10. Erin
    May 23rd, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    I wish I had something profound to say.

    But instead I’ll just say – Welcome home.

    In my T&P always!

  11. Shelley
    May 23rd, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    Welcome home! You will make a ton of happy memories to replace the ones you want to erase from your mind.

  12. KLZ
    May 23rd, 2011 @ 10:32 am

    Sounds like your bathroom needs some mint soap for a mint green room.

  13. Shelly
    May 23rd, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    Could you ask your parents or a good friend to go into “the room” for you & put up artwork and maybe some nice curtains? If it looks different than you remember maybe it will be a bit easier for you when you fianlly feel like going in? Good luck in making your house a warm & happy home for you and J!!!

  14. Tiffany @MomNom
    May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    You WILL find your happiness there, I just know it. Take your time, gut that damn room and make it your own. Make every inch and crevice of that home YOURS. And then? Throw a party that tops all parties and invite me. Deal?

  15. Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments
    May 23rd, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    I’m with everyone else – gut the room and make it your own (when you’re ready).

    Also – I’d like an invitation to the party. I promise to bring LOTS of wine!

  16. Roxanne
    May 23rd, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    You will be. I know this.

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