It has been 8.5 months since you were here. I look around our home, and I realize that it is mostly the same, but also different. The inside of the house is mostly unchanged. The pictures are all the same, the furniture is mostly the same. I haven’t done any painting. But some things have changed.
You weren’t here when the wind chimes were dropped off, but they hang over the pantry door, right where your mom put them days after your death. Every time we open the pantry, we hear a chime. There are also flowers from your funeral, still hanging over the table. We put them there to dry but have never moved them. At this point, it will be sad to put them somewhere else.
There are other changes. Do you like our new couch? The old one carried so many memories. It was once my dear Gram’s, which made it even harder to part with. But it was torn, and cotton kept coming out of it. It was time. I also got new chairs in the dining room. If you were here now, you wouldn’t complain that you might fall when you sat down. I got 8 chairs, even though we only needed 7. We save a spot for you.
The fridge. You always wanted a new one. It mattered so much more to you than it did to me. A new one arrived the week after the funeral, a generous gift from anonymous friends. I know you would have been so thrilled.
Our bedroom is now mine. It was the first thing that changed. I couldn’t stand to look at all the pictures. I couldn’t look at the sign that said “You and Me.” I wallpapered the wall and bought a new bedspread. I took the pictures down, except one. A few of your things remain, but most of them are in storage. The closet is full of my things. I look inside, and in my mind, I separate the things you have seen and the things you haven’t. I wonder how it will feel someday when you wouldn’t recognize any of my clothes or any of my things.
The garage has never looked better. I’m not known for my organizational skills, but I’d dare say yours were lacking even more. I think you would enjoy knowing where everything is. I wish you could see it.
I did a lot of work on the yard this summer. I finally had the front stairs fixed. We now have a bigger driveway and a beautiful patio with a hot tub. These are all things we talked about doing in the future. The future came too soon. The kids love to ride their scooters and wiggle cars on the new concrete. We spend a lot of time outside roasting marshmallows and enjoying ourselves. It fills me with sadness that you can’t enjoy the yard with us, and that the reason we have it is because you are not here. You would have loved it.
You were building a clubhouse for the kids. I didn’t know what to do with it. I was originally going to have it finished. But in the end, that felt too overwhelming. I had it taken down, and a playground is in its place. The kids love it, though probably not as much as they would have loved a clubhouse.
I wonder if you already know about the changes to our home, or if it even matters to you. Our home will continue to change with time, but it will always be ours.