Recently, a very wise woman told me I should have a talk with my house. (Wise, not crazy.) See, I’m thinking about moving, and she sensed some anxiety in me about taking that leap. My house is (like yours, I’m guessing) more than a house. It’s the first home I’ve ever owned. I brought my babies home from the hospital to this house. My first dog’s ashes are in the garden in front of this house. I’ve painted nearly every wall of this house. I’ve played on or weeded every inch of the yard at this house. I’ve laughed and cried in every room of this house. I’ve thrown epic parties in this house. I’ve wept at the loneliness in this house. My husband told me he was leaving me in this house. My new husband-to-be now lives in this house! A lot of life has happened in this house.
And now it’s probably time to leave. But not before a proper thank-you and goodbye.
My friend (wise, not crazy) too me, “Touch the walls. Put your hands on the house and say thank you.”
Ok, I’ll admit I thought she was a little crazy at first. But when I did touch the walls and say thank you, I had a visceral reaction. The words of gratitude fell out of my mouth as fast as the tears fell from my eyes.
“Thank you for keeping us safe, for being a constant in our changing lives. Thank you for watching over me and my babies as we grew, learned, suffered and blossomed. Thank you for being affordable when I had very little money. Thank you for making me smile every time I pull in the driveway and see wilting tomato plants or an unshoveled walkway. Thank you for releasing the negative energy of betrayal so I could forgive and be happy here again. Thank you for looking more beautiful with every coat of paint or change I made. Thank you for hosting the birthday parties, Hanukkah parties, and the litany of men I brought here after my divorce. Thank you for the security in the wee hours of the night when I was at my weakest, loneliest, and most afraid. Thank you for the safety of your walls when it was just you, me, and God. Thank you for releasing me from this part of my life so I can move on to the next phase. I release you too, so you can shelter the next family who is lucky enough to share some of their lives under your roof. Thank you.”