On June 27th, 2009, the alarm woke me up early.  I was tired and cranky because the night before some houseguests had rudely accidentally woken me up at 2am, and a combination of their continued noise and my raging apoplexy had made falling back asleep difficult. But instead of hitting snooze, I got out of bed. There was work to be done.

I shuffled across the yard from the house that had been my home for the last 3 years, to the house that would become my home for the near future; to the house that I needed to move into in order to start the legal clock ticking.

Nothing went right that day. Cracks in the plaster wall still needed to be patched before we could paint. When we finally did start painting, the new paint wasn't sticking to the old paint and in fact, was bubbling up in places (no one told us the old paint was oil based and therefore we needed to prime).  Everywhere I looked I saw dirt and grime and duct tape holding things together.  I was staring years of neglect in the face - all on 4 hours sleep and without any air conditioning.

The thing is, it never even occured to me to go back. Never. Not once did I think about returning to the cool comfort of cental a/c. Not once did I think about returning to the newly laid wood floors or the recently installed (and finally stained) French doors.  As much time and energy as I had put into every single gorgeous custom window treatment, I left them behind without a second thought and traded them for some old Venetian blinds that were cracked and bent and barely stayed in their brackets when lowered and raised.

The day was long and hot and I was sleep deprived.  I had no less than 3 major melt-downs and I distinctly remember calling my parents each and every time saying: "I can't do this." Actually, I didn't say it. I wailed it. "I CAN'T DO THIS," I wailed. Over and over and over again.

Somehow we eventually got done what needed to get done and the day's efforts came to a close.  I dragged myself back across the yard to a house that was still home, but not for long. It was - mercifully - empty.  I showered off the paint and the sweat and the grime, blew-dry my hair, and put on festive sun dress.

Miss Mary picked me up and we went out for a delightful dinner. Despite the raging heat (it was close to 100 degrees), I had a grilled Caesar salad and a ribeye and washed it all down with a glass of hearty red wine. There was Oreo cheesecake and espresso for dessert. Dinners like that had once been ordinary, thrice a week occurences; but it had been a while and I had almost forgot what it was like to indulge.

Miss Mary dropped me off. The house was still, surprisingly, empty.

The Artist and her husband, Mr. Monster Truck, were out of town that week, and I was looking after their cats while they were away.  The Artist had also told me that if I needed to get away for awhile or if I simply wanted to take a soak in her oversized tub, I could. Her house was my house, she told me. So I packed a small bag. Some PJs. Some toiletries. Some ratty shorts and a tee shirt for Round 2. Not much. Just enough to get me through til the next day.

I kissed my kitties goodbye, took a deep breath, and walked out the front door and into the first chapter of a brand new life. 

It wasn't the last time I set foot in that house. For weeks after there was much coming and going as I sorted through, divided up, packed and moved the life I had spent the last 12 years assembling.  But as of June 27th, 2009, that house stopped being my home, and the clock on everything else started ticking.

Two years ago today, my life began again.

(And to the frightened, sleep-deprived girl who stood in the middle of the yard sobbing into her cell phone over and over and over that she couldn't do it, all I can say is that you did do it Baby Girl. You did do it. And I am so, so proud of you.)

11 Comments

We are all proud of you and love you. Happy Re-Birth Anniversary, darling! *raising a glass* xoxoxoxo

I want to squeeze you. You did do it....I'm proud too.

You rock. True story.

I have no doubt you can do anything, but hope you never have to go through something that makes you feel like that again. Congratulations. Hope to toast to your rebirth in person someday soon. xoxo

Love you!!! So proud of you and happy for you!!

Add me to the many who are proud of you, happy for you, and love you to pieces!

I never thought I'd say this, but I wish this were FaceBook so I could "like" everyone else's comments!

I love you and want to give you a big squeezy hug until it's uncomfortable and inappropriate. And then a little bit more. You absolutely rock. True story.

Isn't it funny how strength happens even in the midst of us crying about how we have none? You did it and you continue to do it, and you are AMAZING. You have inspired me and I am lucky to know you.

I think ALL kinds of people are proud of you. It's so hard to try the uknown-but usually so very worth it.

I'm proud of you too, and I don't even know you! You go girl.

I'm proud of you too, and I don't even know you! You go girl.

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