If you have become a widow and have a beautiful house that you and your husband built together and in which you raised your family – do you leave or do you stay?
I guess if your family is close by, you stay – you have the best of both worlds that way – the house you feel secure in and the family who loves you – kiddies to bake for and cuddle and love.
I – on the other hand – am six hours away from the one child out of my three who knows where she wants to live – forever! My sons are closer, but also going through their own transitions and they don’t need my locating them somewhere they may not want to be down the road.
So, here is my quandary – I now own two houses. One is the queen of homes – only the best in everything and three stories big. It is on a cul-de-sac and backed by parkland. I love the location – but it is also empty of human value – except for my memories. The other is my “cottage” located by my daughter and her three daughters. It is a simple bungalow and is plain and smaller with more economical furniture. The “cottage” is located on a busier road with gravel trucks that really can be noisy. There is a small forested area behind the house and a hayfield. A creek runs through it.
The “cottage” is on the school bus route so I keep in touch with my granddaughters going to and from school and it is only a block away from them so they can come to see me when I am there and, before it got warm enough to garden, I was baking fresh bread and cookies. It was fun to be involved with the rhythm of a family again – to be called for assistance or invited for dinner or a walk through the mountain trail.
I have taken a hard lesson in the true costs of running a household this year and running two households really can be daunting. Luckily, I can afford this – although I am taking out my old budgeting lessons so I can be a smart consumer. What has been really complicated is the work of being responsible for two separate homes six hours away from each other – talk about a long distance relationship!
I have friends at both ends who help, but I am getting the idea that I will have to make up my mind this year so that I can do justice to one household, to my friends and neighbours and to myself.
The idea of belonging to one community is attractive, but the idea of losing contact with my “groundroots” house is really frightening.
I know that some widows can’t wait to sell their “couples” place and move on – escape the memories in every corner – but – sometimes I find it refreshing – like one might feel going back to their elementary school – is it still the same? Does it seem smaller? Everytime I walk in here, I feel as though I have entered my “safe place” – no expectations about me, no need to meet new people or new challenges. I notice things I have done in the past to make this a restful and carefree place and I marvel at what I have accomplished. This visit, I noticed the size of the trees I planted twenty years ago. They are astonishingly beautiful.
So, what do I do. Leave? Stay?
I tried to live my life so I had no regrets so this is very difficult. I already regret not being more decisive. What should I do. Please finish my blog for me……