August 2, 2009

At 1:25 a.m. this past Saturday, we locked up our home of three years, crammed the last few remnants of our lives there into the car, and drove away.

I now know many things I didn’t know a few weeks ago.  I know that next time I move I’m going to start packing two months in advance, because one week just doesn’t cut it.  I know that I cannot thoroughly clean a house, even an empty house, in three hours and that, furthermore, this is fine with me.  I know that I could open Gray’s Anatomy and, without knowing their names, point to every muscle that I’ve strained in the last days of our move.  I know that my toes can be stiff and ache.

I know that, wherever N is, is home.

I know that we miss our cats so much that it hurts, and, missing them, I have a much clearer picture of how we’ve both transferred a certain amount of Teddy love to them.

I know that the hardest part of packing was wrapping up Teddy’s hand castings, memory boxes, and clothes – these few, precious things that we have instead of a baby.  I wrote “fragile” on the box five times, perhaps because packing that box made me feel so fragile, myself.

I know that I can’t, right now, pack his ashes away.  The damnably tiny urn is tucked into my suitcase, between my socks and t-shirts, where I brush against it with my fingers each morning.  He’s not in these ashes, but it’s important to keep them safe and close.  I’m not sure why.

I know that I have the world’s most amazing mom, the kind of person who will drive 8 hours to help her child clean and pack, and who will tote that child’s pets back to safety, even though it means sitting through a day and a half of stress and even though it means her houseplants will be partially eaten by an inquisitive calico.

I know that I hate being homeless, even if only for a couple of weeks, even though we’re luxuriating in a couple of days in an air-conditioned hotel room.

But we’re out.  We’re away from that landlord, who will probably keep our security deposit since I couldn’t reach all the light fixtures to clean them and because we were too tired to pull the refrigerator out and clean behind it.  I left the place clean enough to not be horribly embarrassing, and I’m not really expecting any of the deposit back, so this is all okay.

And now it’s August, which sends my mind reeling.

But we’re out.



  1. My mind is reeling with yours, and I don’t have a move in the mix.
    Take care, Erica.

  2. A move is so unsettling no matter what, but the timing seems especially hard. Thinking of you throughout August as you approach Teddy days.

  3. Congrats on getting out. Don’t worry about the lights and the fridge … it sounds like your particular landlord will find something wrong no matter what you do. I had it once … I moved out of a place and the agent/landlord told me that I left the windows dirty and the carpets dirty. What???? The windows were filthy when I arrived, and the (beige) carpet was about 30 years old. Impossible to clean. Generally, when I leave a house, it’s ALWAYS cleaner than when I arrive. But I’ve learned my lesson. Sometimes, people won’t be happy no matter what you do. The best thing is to just walk away and leave it. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing.

  4. I have always said that moving is one of life’s greatest stresses…having moved a lot myself, there is only one time I DIDN’T cry while moving, and that was when D & I moved into the house we own. Other than that, tears, tears, tears. Wishing you some peace in this transition.

  5. Moving is hard!!! I used to do it at least once a year… now it’s been almost 5 years and I have no idea where I would even start.

    I hope you have a wonderful new start in a new home.

  6. Moving is so disconcerting, even for those not grieving.

    So sorry you are forced to face your fragility once again.

    But, at least that landlord is out of your life! You should get the deposit back- your really think they’ll check behind the fridge – anyway the deposit is for EXCESSIVE damage – holes in walls etc.

    When do u get to move into your new place????

  7. thinking of you, Erica.

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