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.