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Matt and I were together for 10 wonderful years - met in 1998, married in 2002, until his untimely death on November 15, 2008. We have two beautiful, healthy children - Jacob (born 5/04) and Sydney (born 5/07)... the most precious gifts he could have ever given me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The floodgates have opened...

So, this numb/emotionless stage I've been in is officially over. It was a good run, I have to say. It allowed me to get a lot accomplished, and get through some days that would have otherwise been excruciating. It has taken its toll, too, though. I'm sick again, and my eyes are so puffy from crying that I can't get my contacts in.

I am officially the proud owner of a beautiful little Spanish style bungalow in suburban heaven, California. The closing was today - didn't even have to be there. Pretty cool, huh? Thank goodness for modern technology! The kids and I will fly out and take up residence on August 28.

As I prepare my current home to leave it, I'm having more flashbacks. Back when we were dating, before we even had a glimmer of a thought of building a home, I would walk around this property which was located just beyond and below his parent's property. I usually walked it by myself - it was so serene. It was my escape, like a little piece of heaven. When Matt told me he wanted to build a home on that property, it was a dream come true for me. A home - our home - on this little piece of heaven, with the man of my dreams. How much better could it get?!! It did, amazingly enough.

We built this home together - blood, sweat and tears. Matt would come home from his full time job and start right on our house, and wouldn't stop until well into the dark. At one point, I ended up taking him to the hospital for chest pains. I told him I would rather have the house take longer to build, than to not have him to live in it with me.

Matt acted as the general contractor, and I had complete faith in him. I always looked up to my brother like he knew all and could do all, but after getting to know and falling in love with Matt, he became my hero. He seemed to know just about everything and could do anything. He used to tease me about how much I looked up to my brother and say (imitating my voice), "Oh, Bryan is perrrrrfect!" I don't know if Matt knew this - and I so hope he did - but I thought that he was perfect - imperfections and all. I used to (more in my head than outloud) call Matt my "lobster" (any fans of the show Friends would know what I'm talking about). He was not a fan, so I only told him only once that he was my lobster, but thought it all the time. FYI- lobsters are apparently one of the only other species out there that mate for life.

If a couple can survive building a house together, they can pretty much endure any trials of a relationship together. That's the kind of couple we were. It seemed like whenever we hit a "bump in the road," we got through it and somehow our relationship was actually strengthened. We considered ourselves an exceptional couple. There was no other man out there for me, or woman for him. We would sometimes look at other couples and wonder why marriage seemed so difficult for some people. It came easy to us, most of the time. We had our challenges of course, but faced them head-on. The love we had for each other always seemed to persevere.

It is so unfair that he is gone. Of all people, I will never understand why he had to die. Our children deserved to be raised with both mommy and daddy, and see the affection we had for each other, and be a living example to them of how much a mommy and daddy can love each other, have each other's backs, have disagreements and come to a compromise, work through relationship issues and parenting issues... all of it. Good and bad. Sydney deserves to have Matt walk her down the isle someday. Jacob deserves to have Matt teach him about... guy things. Matt knew how to build anything and fix anything. Jacob has the same kind of mind that Matt had, and he would have learned so much. I was relying on Matt to help our kids with math in school. Matt could do these complex mathematical figures in his head that most people need a calculator for.

Well, talk about going off on a tangent... I was talking about the house.

I remember looking through the walls when they were just wood studs. The smell of fresh cut wood. Matt cutting and measuring wood with the circular saw (or whatever that thing is called) in what is now our living room. Having the guys from work help hang dry wall. Him learning how to walk in those stilts so he could tape and mud the drywall seams in the garage. Having a paint war while we were priming the walls near the kitchen. Talking him into putting color on the walls, as opposed to having everything "bone" white. Hanging pictures. All the things he built for our house. For us. The things he intended to build that he didn't get a chance to. This house was not just our house. It was more like another child that we planned for, conceived, loved, took care of, appreciated. I feel like I'm abandoning one of our children by leaving it. I probably wouldn't feel like I'm abandoning it so much if someone had already bought it and I know I'm not leaving it empty.

I've been flying by the seat of my pants with all of these plans, just hoping they all work out. So far, they have, which indicates to me that I've made the right decision to move to California. If it wasn't the right decision, I'd have been faced with obstacles all over the place. The only obstacle is to sell this house, and to know that there is someone here to care for it, love it, and appreciate it. I'm still hopeful this happens, but ideally, I pray it happens before we leave it for good in just a little over two weeks.

The end of an era. That's what it felt like when Matt died, and that's what it feels like leaving this home. Our home. Matt and I built this home for us. It just doesn't feel like "our" home without him, though.


Marla said...

Good luck with you move. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you.

Kelly said...

{{{HUGS}}} I've got a few real ones for you in a couple more weeks.

Mel said...

What a beautiful story. I hope you give it to your kids to read someday, when they are older and the time is right. The experience with the house is a wonderful reflection of your love.

Of course, you know that the house is not Matt, and that it is ok to leave it because Matt is inside you and everyone he knew. He will travel with you to California.

I have a couple of engineering degrees, so I'd be happy to help with the math whenever I can ;)

Cammie said...

It is not fair Andrea.

Shannon said...

You know you are making the right decision. Like you said, The house is not home anymore without Matt. Now, you are making a new start with your kids. You will find a nice family to take over your house and take care of your home. I hope your move goes well. Keep in touch and be safe.

Danielle said...

You are just so strong. I aspire to someday find the strenght you have in just my everyday life. As hard as it is going to be, you are going to make a beautiful new start for you and your children. I hope you allow us all to come along for the ride.

Jill said...

Oh Andrea.... I am so, so sorry for the pain you endure on a daily basis. It is NOT fair! Why did it have to be Matt. A wonderful and caring father and husband. There will never be an answer for that. I think you are making the right decision by moving and starting fresh, it's exactly what you guys need. It will be unbearable and difficult to leave that house for the last time but stay strong, you can do it. You're truly a remarkable woman!

Crash Course Widow said...

So excited for you that your house has closed in LA! But I understand--and remember--all too well how much it hurt to leave the dream house that Charley and I bought together, 4 months before our wedding. Selling and leaving it was, at the time (at 16 months out) the single hardest thing I had to do since Charley died, shy of seeing his dead body that first and last time and saying goodbye. I was a sobbing, crying mess--one of the biggest grief meltdowns I've had over these past 4 years--the last 15-20 minutes before the movers showed up. And I pretty much shut down by the end of it; I could NOT force myself to go back to the house one last time, even though I had to get the last stuff and clean. I couldn't go back to it again, knowing I was saying goodbye to something that was so much more than a house. It was us, everything we'd worked for, dreamed for.

It's still hard to see that house now, even after 4 years. I avoid it like the plague...which is tough sometimes since it's only about 30 blocks from my house now.

Hang in there, and cry as much as you need. Accept as much help as you can; you don't need to be superwoman here. Sending you and the kids so many hugs and lots and lots of love, to help you get through this. Miss you tons, sunshine!

Boo said...

Sometimes it's like we are granted a numb period to help us get through something ... like moving house. Cliff built the side and back of our home, and changed the structure entirely of what was already there, so I can imagine how hard it will be for you to leave the home that you shared.

Cry as much as you need to, focus on resting as much as you can so that you get better - sorry you are ill. Accept help where you can.

Congrats on your new place - it does sound like heaven ... for you and your children. It doesn't matter where you live - he will still be able to find you HUGS xxxx

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

I'm so excited for your move! And perhaps my advice to you, many months ago, was really meant for me: now we are moving too. Sadly, my memories of my husband in this house are tangled and ugly.



Notes From the Grove said...

My heart simply aches for you. I feel about my husband they way you feel about Matt. I can't imagine what you go through every day. I know it doesn't help you, but it helps me to tell you that I think of you often and am always wishing you well. I just want you to know.