Twenty-eight years ago, I moved into a spacious home on several acres in what seemed like 'the country.' I named it Sherwood, because the Earl of Loxley was Robin Hood, who lived in Sherwood Forest.
For all these years, I loved driving up the long driveway and seeing my red saltbox home reminding me of my New England heritage. I thought it would be my home forever.
I didn't fathom the changes that would make moving even a possibility, let alone the reality I'm in now. A neurological condition makes climbing stairs a bit more difficult each year, and, ground to full story attic, there are five sets of stairs. Then Isabel, which spared the home, threw trees everywhere, including into the pool, and while we were still barely coping with the mess, my mother broke her hip in Massachusetts.
I spent three weeks in the serenity of a magnificent New England autumn, visiting my Mum, who had to transfer just 11 days after moving into her assisted living apartment to a hospital and then a nursing home. Those weeks gave me time to contemplate how much one fall can change a life.
It was during that time when Ray Bergey with the Real Estate Group contacted me on behalf of Ashdon Builders, who wanted my property and my neighbors' for a new development. By year's end, we signed the contract, choosing to close in late August with two more months to finish our move. It has been an interesting year.
At first I thought I would never find a home I'd love as much as Sherwood. Fortunately, I had time to realize that, having loved more than one man, more than one child and more than one car, I could certainly love more than one house. And now I do.
There are so many of us in some state
of transition right now, some who haven't
yet let themselves ponder the impact.
For me, it is saying goodbye to a home I loved each and every day for 28 years. I won't be raising any children in the new home. There aren't any beloved pets buried in the new acres.
Others are saying goodbye to one life and moving to another as well. And there are many who are staying in place but missing someone who no longer lives there. Whether from a trauma such as divorce or death or a celebration such as a wedding or the beginning of college life, when someone is longer sharing our home, it's hard.
In a life too fast-paced, we must
decide to give ourselves time to transition.
It's okay to grieve for a child who flies away from the nest, even while we rejoice for the child. It's okay to shed a tear over leaving a tree where we taught children to climb, even when we admire a new yard. It's okay to miss a job, even when we take a retirement we've planned for years.
Sometimes we make the decisions to transition; sometimes we do not. We need to let ourselves talk about them, feel them, accept them in either case. Yes, we must go forward, and sometimes we can do it with joy. We can't do it without examining what is going on inside as well as outside.
I love my new home - love it. It's not Sherwood. Sherwood belonged to another life.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.
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