autumn days

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Creating a Home

When I was a little girl, I'd always wanted my own apartment, to live where and how I chose with my collection of plants and animals.  Three years into my relationship with M, I set off to find my own little apartment... cat in tow.  It was such a thrill to easily fit all my worldly belongings into a studio apartment and to immediately paint the walls a bright yellow.  Next to the big open windows I taped handmade cards that brought me joy.  I hosted craft nights and invited friends to join me there for dinner and movies.

Then I was ready to settle into committing to live with another human.  As M and I lovingly created a home, yellow paper lantern walls and all, we experienced some resigned compromise.  When we purchased our current home with his mother, her decor went into place immediately.  Our personal pieces took longer than planned.  After the first two pieces went up, it was another five years before we hung more, and three more before we painted a wall.

When M's mother died several years ago, all her decor stayed in place.  Now that M has devastatingly died, I am slowly shifting our home from his mother's tastes into my own.  Bookshelves now stand where wall scrolls hung.  Our books and photo albums are out of boxes and into rooms where we seem them each day.  Large photographs of great-grandparents are now in our prayer room.  Figurines and vases are slowly finding new homes.  Framed photos of M dominate our prayer room.  Photographs of our family of five fill the other rooms.  (No post-M photos are part of our collection yet.)  I am dreaming of painting walls vibrant blues and greens to match my mother-in-law's large Mediterranean painting.  I envision owning hand-blown sea glass light fixtures, crafted 90-minutes away at the Oregon coast.  I dream of renting out this beloved home so I get to go explore the world with our children.

While I would give much of what I have to go back to the day before diagnosis, I also finding pleasure in making my home my own, in releasing other people's treasures, in dreaming of the possibilities in the recreating of a home... and a life.

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