If Walls Could Talk
Well, I’ve decided to put my house on the market. This is a decision I have battled with for some time now. My attachment to this home runs deep. I would say it’s the final part of my former life that I have yet to let go of. When doors continue to open in one place and your home is in the other, you must adult up and decide what’s best. For me, what’s best is leaving this home and starting fresh somewhere new. My new life has been in the works for awhile now and it’s time that my home caught up. Thinking about my house for sale brings out every emotion in the book. From real tears streaming down my neck as I sat in my favorite backyard spot to gleeful excitement as I walked into an open house only a few days later. The swings are real, my friends.
In reflecting on my emotional highs and lows, I started thinking of all the walls of this home have seen... The very first morning waking up in this home, the bathroom walls saw a positive pregnancy test. Every weekend that followed for the next nine months, those walls saw giddy homeowners bonding with friends and family members over house projects, beer (not for the preggo), and pizza. Those walls saw a 1970’s fixer-upper made over from top to bottom. They saw newlyweds celebrate their first (and second) wedding anniversary. They saw a crazy pregnant lady pick the wrong exterior paint colors. Those walls welcomed a beautiful baby girl home. They saw parents experience the love of their child, an unreal love like nothing else in this world. Those walls saw a baby’s first coos, signs, smiles, laughs, bites, scoots, crawls, words, and steps. They saw baptism parties, 30th birthday parties, garage dance parties, graduation parties, baby showers, and 1st birthday parties. They saw playdates where new mommy friends would sob and vent and laugh about the stay-at-home mom gig not being as easy as they all once thought. They saw family dinners, date nights in, and young married couples gathered, talking about how life has changed in the best possible ways.
And then, quite suddenly, these walls saw temptation. They saw a good man taken over by darkness. They saw a husband and father lie to his wife and daughter. They saw a man who was already accounted for get sucked into the flattery of an adulteress. They saw early mornings and late nights of deception. They saw details of an affair revealed in a text message. They saw screaming matches of sobbing stomach aches. They heard more and more lies until they had all been exposed. They saw a wife left alone. They saw a half empty bed, closet, and dresser. They saw a stay at home mom turn single mom. They saw long days with a one year old, no daddy relief come the five o’clock hour. They saw girls nights of long hugs, tears, venting, silence, and a whole lot of wine. They heard check ins by the hour via text messages and phone calls from family members, neighbors, and friends. They saw a desperate heart exposed. They heard kneeling prayers, begging and pleading with God.
They then saw what appeared to be the start of restoration. They saw a man apprehensively come back to his family and home. They saw him try, but not hard enough. They saw awkward months of a destroyed husband & wife trying to salvage what was left. They saw crying conversations of why’s and how’s. They heard “how could you’s” and “why did you’s” and “I don’t get it’s.” They saw 12 packs finished as discussions and recaps of counseling sessions took place. They saw brief moments of normalcy in backyard bbqs, kiddie pools, and family time. Only to be followed by long days of setbacks. They saw a downward spiral leading to the decision made to legally end a marriage once and for all. They saw depressing holidays knowing it was the last all together under one roof. They saw a man leave for the second and final time.
They saw the aftermath of initial meetings with lawyers. They saw tears as a home was split apart in dollar signs. They heard custody discussions of spreading thin the weekdays, weekends, and holidays. They saw some more tears over the thought of a sweet child in two homes. They saw regret and second thoughts and “are you sure?” and “is this really happening?” They saw a few more screaming matches partnered with this time more bitterness than sadness. They saw the death of a marriage, of a family, and of a life together. They saw loss and grieving.
They saw attempts at reinventing a home and life. They saw Good Will purges of dishes, wedding presents, and all reminders of a marriage on its way out. They saw new paint colors, furniture, and bedding. They saw remodeled bathrooms and fresh photos on the walls. They saw the process of recovery, healing, and acceptance. They saw a mom, not ready to go back to work, do so anyhow to provide for her baby. They saw shots of straight whiskey as the signing of divorce papers happened, both parties unsure how it got to this point. They saw the look of a final stamp when legal papers were received in the mail. Months later, they heard the conversation of a man who wanted back the life he left. They saw confused emotions in response to his plea. They saw discernment and prayer and more conversations confirming the decision to move forward in separate lives.
They saw a new life start, one grounded in God’s faithful goodness. They saw cheer and happiness re-enter the home in a different form. They saw the birth of new dynamics. They saw a focus shifting from the love of a husband and wife to the shared love of their child. They heard co-parenting conversations and how to blend two new lives into one. They saw a united front of two parents wanting the best for their daughter. They heard laughter over toddler talk and frustration over toddler tantrums. They saw the potential for a healthy blended family.
Those walls saw a sweet second date of sparks and butterflies. They saw the start of a new love. They saw God’s promises revealed. They saw blissful excitement for the future. They saw a family redefined. They saw new bonds form over legos, puzzles and playdough. They heard dreams of starting a new life in a new home. They saw the freedom of leaving the past in the past. They heard conversations of passing on this home to house a new family’s memories. They saw tears of sadness and joy, missing a first home and welcoming a second one.
In looking back, I suppose the emotional swings of selling this home make a little more sense now. In 5 years, these walls have seen and heard more than most experience in a lifetime. And now, as I wait for the right family to buy this house, I’ll say, here’s to the stories my future walls will tell!
Image by West Elm