It was one that I'd almost had, but knew it would still be there and would happen one day.
Today I, we, handed over the keys to what once was home.
The home that was actually mine, ours. The place that we had put so much time, care and love into.
The place that started a new life, and stored memories. Saw laughter, saw tears, saw fun and games, saw arguments, saw frustration and most of all saw two people try to love.
But like certain things in life, they come to an end.
And this was one of them.
And although I knew it was coming, I knew it would happen, I guess I put it to the back of my head and made myself believe that it wasn't such a big deal. Because was it? It's only bricks and wallpaper (and lots of white paint) at the end of the day.. But then, it always felt so much more than that. So much more than just a house.
It was the place we really got to call home. Our home. And the home where we learned so much more in life, from wallpapering a room to changing a plug fuse. Where we welcomed everybody in with laughter filling the rooms and memories being treasured. Where we brought up our cats with love and affection and saw them grow from sweet kittens to big cats. Where we grew as adults, good human beings. The home that was pleasing on the eye, with white interior throughout and accents of grey and blush tones and the home that made us feel proud. A huge sense of pride for what we'd built. And I suppose, when you think back on these things, it does become almost harder to let go.
Because as humans, people, we treasure so much.
But something about this brings difference to whenever I've left somewhere else. Difference to how I felt when I left my family home of 23 years. I was sad, I didn't want my parents to sell even though it was for the right reasons. And packing up the family home and memories into boxes wasn't easy but within weeks, it became clear how easy it was to move on. The only home I'd ever known was just a memory. A fond memory, but a place that had easily been forgotten. I didn't feel sadness when I drove past it anymore, and I didn't feel the urge to move back in. I drove past it with a sense of warmth. There were good times there.
Yet, this place. Our place. It feels different to that.
I drive past it with sadness in my eyes. I think back to how I could have changed it, and whether it could have made us happier even though I knew in my heart, that not just a home could make us happy. I packed up those boxes with my stomach feeling tight wondering if I'd ever see this place again. And I left it with an empty feeling.
An empty feeling that I've never felt before.
It feels very different.
And even after walking out of that door nearly nine months ago, it doesn't get any easier.
I walked out of that door with my belongings in the van, and said goodbye as though it would be the last time. But deep down in my heart I knew it wasn't the last time, and maybe that was a coping mechanism. I had that small thing to hold onto, for comfort. There was still that last little connection holding us together even though we knew it wasn't right anymore.
It kept us going whilst dealing with heartbreak.
It brought us down whenever the house fell through.
It gave us sadness when we thought back on those times.
It made us feel warm knowing what once was.
And now? It brings reality.
The door to our house that once was, is time for new memories.
The door to our house that once was, is now someone else place to create love.
The door to our house that once was, is no more.
That finally, with the hardest and saddest feeling in our hearts and the courage in our minds, to close the chapter on this part of our lives together.
And move forward separately.
With no going back.
This is really it. This is to new beginnings.