three years, and a new year for hope

by kittery

transitioning away from the hideous orange

transitioning away from the hideous orange

It has been precisely three years since I became a homeowner. In those three years, I have gotten married, waited impatiently to hold my newborn nephew for the first time, moved away from my home with the essentials (kitten and laptop) in hand, leaving house and husband behind to care for my grandmother in her last days, buried my grandmother, put my cat to sleep, been struck with a mystery illness that landed me in the ER half a dozen times, tasted butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, hand fed and patted a wild chipmunk, discovered the local farmers’ market, and fallen in love with yoga. It’s been a strange three years. Precisely at this moment three years ago, I was just finishing painting over the horrible pumpkin soup orange in the living room with a light blue-grey as I waited for my then-fiancé to arrive with the first load of boxes.

As we waited to ring in 2015, a friend and I were texting and she said, “God I hope this year is better than 2014 was.” A simple sentiment I’m sure many other people share, but it really struck me in that moment: we are so lucky we can’t see what’s coming. The next day while talking to my husband, I said, “can you imagine? If this year is even worse than the last couple we’ve had…God help us. If I knew what was coming, I’d never get out of bed.” Had I known I was going to get a call some morning in April, knowing from the very beginning it was going to result in me sobbing as I cradled my dying cat in my arms while my husband sat next to me, tears streaming down his face, waiting for me to nod and say “okay,” I would have thrown my phone in the river. Had I known from the very beginning that when I walked into my grandmother’s house at midnight that Memorial Day weekend that it would be the last time I’d ever see her truly herself, I probably couldn’t have enjoyed it.

I remember, in the weeks leading up to her death, Grandma would say, “oh. I hoped when I woke up that today would be a good day. Instead it’s another lousy day.” I didn’t know what to say when she said that. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I thought all her good days were behind her. That’s an awful realization and I never blamed her for not being realistic. She needed the hope. Three years ago, as I was painting our brand living room, I had hopes our home (and our lives) would look very different three years down the line. Different in the good way, not, mattress and box spring on the floor, because the old, crappy bed frame we had broke and we still haven’t replaced it, or front door still unpainted, or hole in kitchen ceiling due to leaking pipe issues different… They say ignorance is bliss, and they’re right. Without it, hope can’t exist.
To three more years of home-owning, and 2015 – the Year of Hope.