January 5th may be the absolute worst day to list a house – – especially in the midst of a blizzard. But the sign (which doesn’t actually say “For Sale”) was installed, and a lock box fed with a newly minted key. And so far, not one looker has crossed the threshold.
In the meantime – and for the many weeks leading up to that ball dropping in Times Square – I have been going through stuff…all that stuff that he could not take with him. The stuff which documented the years – many of which being before “my time” – the tax returns, job evaluations, college assignments, certificates of achievement, divorce papers, receipts, ticket stubs, papers, more papers and folders of ideas – giving way to the question: “Does this thing bring me joy?” And with each pitch into the large plastic receptacle, I asked forgiveness and reminded him that he, in fact, could not take it with him. It is as if I am living an everyday goodbye.
Being alone in this house is actually not difficult. I do find joy within its walls and true pleasure looking outside, even in the bleakest of weather. But I am torn as I find myself with one foot in the past and one in the future. It has always been difficult for me to live in the present. “Be here now,” he would say.
But during his final days – living in the house he designed never to leave – there was nothing for us BUT to be in present time. I was aware of every precious second, and there was so much living to do in that time which seemed to be suspended in a paradise of sorts. His coming home on that hot July day was the beginning of the most amazing five days – – a crescendo of what this house on Pickle Bay came to be known for and more: a marvelous gathering of family, friends, creativity and unconditional love. I believe this house is not only very special, but magical. Even though my ‘silver lining’ is to move close to children and grandchildren, the real concept of departure has a tarnished patina.
But it is the knowledge that one day – and I do hope it is soon – I will hand off that newly minted key to the next owner who will also find this home a source of inspiration and creativity. The sign should say: “For Sure (not for everybody).” I know there is someone(s) for whom this house is calling out to; that next resident of 628 who will blossom and expand and achieve what hadn’t seemed possible. And I am so excited for that someone. You know who you are. Be here now!