Over a year ago, I was chatting with a father at daycare. They were expecting their second child, and in the process of moving to a new house. I asked why they were moving (it was an in-town move) and he said that he wife insisted. I asked casually, 'need more space'? And he said no, that his wife said there were too many bad memories in the current house. Their first son had severe acid reflux and she said the living room reminded her of the hours they stayed up trying to comfort him and all the crying.
I was taken aback. Nora died in my living room. I did CPR on her on my bed. Her ashes are buried in our front yard. I would never, in a MILLION years, want to move away from my house. While it does have sad memories, it also has wonderful ones. I remember exactly the day I ran downstairs to tell Aaron I was pregnant with Cam. I remember the fun (and drama) of Aaron and my renovation efforts. The laughter as we figured out that the awful smell in our living room was a dead animal in the Christmas tree and not a poopy diaper. The dinners we've eaten in our dining room, and the fun parties we've thrown for friends. The weekends Aaron spent doing projects with his father. All of it. Mixed in with the sad. That's life, right?
But ever once in a while I get it. When we took down Maggie's crib and they both left the house (we brought the matching one to my mom's cabin for overnights), it was like a huge weight was lifted. Getting rid of the crib that Nora never got to sleep in. I didn't realize until it was gone that every time I looked in Maggie's room, I would think of the hours spent setting that room up for my twin girls. But, slowly, we have new things to make new associations and memories with, and the pain gets a little lighter. Still, in surprising ways, I'll get slammed with the loss. Sunday, at church, they sang a song that was sung at Nora funernal. And the minute I opened the hymnal to that page, I burst into tears. So does the pain go away? No. And maybe a fresh start somewhere new would be nice. Where I didn't see reminders at every turn of what's been lost. But I can never imagine moving away from my home. Where Aaron and I have built this little family.
I'll take it all, the happy and the sad. Because the happy makes the sad bearable.