Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Door Closes

As a six year old, I couldn't imagine ever wanting to move away from my parents' home. Not to go to college. Not even to get married... most especially to get married! So I told my mom exactly that.

True to her fashion, she assured me I would never have to leave if I still felt the same when I was older. She said I could always attend college while living with them, and her words and promises soothed me.

Of course, once I was a senior in high school, our conversation was almost long forgotten to me as I began excitedly envisioning life on a college campus; the thought of choosing a school so I could live with my parents never crossed my mind.

Then, over the coming months, as I found myself saying goodbye to my childhood home and the city where I'd grown up, I began to feel that old desire to never have to leave. That summer, as the days before I left for school grew fewer, I continually reminded myself, "change is good," as I tried to accept moving forward and letting go.

I've moved more than a few times since then, and each move, I've been faced with a combination of excitement for what lies ahead and sadness for what I'm leaving behind. Each place I've left has become part of me. Each new place I've come to love.

Last month, I found myself once again coming to terms with moving forward and letting go, as E and I finally sold our house in central Texas. While it was a long-anticipated event, it still came laden with conflicting emotions as I said goodbye to a home that played witness to many important moments in our lives.

We opened and closed the doors to multiple chapters in those rooms; there we began dating, became engaged, and then married. In our little brick house we celebrated both our wedding days and became a family of four by welcoming two dogs into our lives.

It was where we spent our last hours together before E's two deployments and where we reunited following many long months apart. Then, between those walls, we transitioned from a military life to a civilian one.

The night my parents left me in my freshman dorm room, I was overwhelmed by a mix of sadness, happiness, and hope for the promise of what lie ahead; I strongly felt each of those emotions again in the tear-filled moment when E and I stood in our kitchen and said our final goodbye to a place brimming with more memories than we could count.

I've made my peace with letting go of our first home, although I know there will be days when I ache to return to that place and time in our past. And I'm happy to be moving forward as it means we're growing closer to having our "boys" home again.

We've begun house-hunting here in Houston and are looking forward to settling into a new set of rooms. Rooms that will provide the backdrop for new memories during this next chapter in our lives. Rooms that will also someday, though hopefully not too soon, be hard to leave behind as I find myself again working on moving forward. And letting go.