This is it: my last night in this house that has been home for 6+ years. Though I will return a few times more, those will be rather brief day trips. The only residence in which Della and I lived in for a longer time period was our home in Salem. It was difficult saying goodbye to it too, though the decision to move then was our own choice.
You know, this situation has turned out both to be more painful and less painful than I imagined. It has been more painful because it has been so drawn out. With Della unable to help much due to her health issues and my health not being great, it has taken me nearly two months of steady work to accomplish what an able-bodied person probably could have finished off in 2 or 3 weeks! The slow pace of watching my routinized world taken down piece by piece has been excruciating -- like dying a thousand deaths. I have been in a funk the whole time.
And yet, as I prepare for the final move, there is a sense of relief that it is drawing to a close. While I expect I will be teary-eyed as I pull away from the house tomorrow, I don't think I will sob profusely (that may or may not come later tonight). While I am very nervous about moving into the small space that is our apartment in Ocean Shores, I am ready for it to happen.
As I have previously noted, this house no longer feels like home. The things that made it home -- Della, Jaz, Lily and our possessions -- are not here. In between all my work, I still putter around as usual, but I'm puttering around in a shell of a former self. Though I am anxious about my new "home", I am ready to see what the future holds.
Later tonight I will build one last fire in the fireplace and sit in an almost empty living room staring at the flames. I will talk to the house and tell it how much it has meant to me. As I drift off to sleep, I will dream about what it's been like to live here and then, when I awaken on Thursday morning, I will pack up the car to head for my new home...where the woman I love and who loves me awaits.