The Last One

Well. This is it.

We move out tomorrow. Like all of our things.

As in there are no random bottles of shampoo for me to squeeze by with. No 21 years worth of toiletries stowed haphazardly in corners or cabinets or drawers. No towels even. Just barely any toilet paper left.

And we aren’t going to the store to buy more.

(at least not to bring back here.)

There are no pictures on the walls for the track lighting Dad installed to illuminate. There are just boxes. I get that they’re leaving.

But me? I don’t guess I very well grasp the idea of never fumbling through that red door with groceries or kicking off my shoes in that very convenient corner in the foyer. I’m laying in my bedroom, the same one from all those years– the twin bed, the tree house bed, this bed; the grey walls, the pepto-bismol striped wallpaper, the fresh coat of teal paint. My Dad used to climb the little pink steps to the top of the house he built me to kiss me goodnight. Mom would say prayers with me, asking God that I might wake up “happy! in the mornin’.” Emily read Precious Moments stories to me or kept me company when we watched a few too many detective shows. Luke and Stephanie used this as their office when they lived here for a year as newlyweds.

I get that the things are going.

But no amount of before and after pictures from over the years prepares me for what I know to be true: this is the last night.

Maybe it’s supposed to feel this way for a reason. Like the inability to wrap my mind around the situation is a safeguard. It won’t really seem like my last night here until I’m spending my first night away for good. And by then it’s past. A rip the bandaid sort of thing. Tomorrow night looking back this might feel a momentous night. But tonight feels like any other.

So I’ll go to sleep tonight like it is any other– thankful for the many nights past. For the 21 years of waking up in this home, if not happy, then healthy.

And on this, the last one, I look forward to the first.

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