Thursday, September 11, 2014

The closing walls and the ticking clocks

I unpacked my last box today.

With the arrival of my old sideboard into my dining room, I finally have the space to unpack that box so I can now figure out what combination of Jay's kitchen stuff and mine I'm going to keep.

But that got me thinking about being finally moved in, and how odd my history here has been.

I moved to Portland at the beginning of October 2012. At the time, I was staying at Jay's house, with only what I had brought in the car with me. The plan was that I would stay with him until Nancy & I found a house to rent together.

The process of finding a house took longer than we anticipated, and it wasn't until January 2013 that the POD with all my stuff from Baltimore finally got unloaded into the rental house in South Tabor.

But by that time the necessities of caregiving and the growing bond Jay & I had had complicated the living situation. Even though most of my stuff was in the rental house, I was still living essentially full time in Jay's house. I lived out of a suitcase for a long time, long after Jay had offered me closet and drawer space in his bedroom.  I finally gave in - don't ask me what took me so long, I have no idea - and unpacked my suitcase into the closet and drawer.

I generally only spent time at the rental house when Jay was out of town or when he had intimate houseguests.

Neither place really felt like home. My stuff was one place, my heart another, and neither was really home. I am a nester, and that made things difficult because the place where I was most wasn't really mine and the place I could have made comfortably mine I rarely was.

We lived in this condition until sometime in the fall of 2013, when Jay officially asked me to move in with him. At the time, I think my plan was to keep the rental house and just move the stuff I needed into Jay's house. This morphed over time into Emily helping me discard stuff and pack up the rest during one break from the clinical trial ordeal, and then my dear friends moving my stuff into Jay's house while we were in Maryland in March or April 2014.

The hope was that we would come home from Maryland in April and that Jay would be well enough that we could together integrate me into what would then be our home.  Obviously, that never occurred.

So now I'm all moved in to what is now just the house I'm renting and also the place where Jay's life ended and his stuff still remains.

I'm left starting my life over in the ashes of his life. I'm essentially curating the rest of his life in this place I'm trying to make my home. It's tough and only occasionally rewarding. I often wonder if I've made a mistake staying in this house. But some of that doubt is just exhaustion from this, my third restart of my life since 2011.

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