I really love my new house. It has 400 more sqft, a garage, my own washer and dryer, a fenced yard, two bathrooms, three bedrooms, a LR and den, and a shed, and boy is that nice to have. And all for about the same price I was paying for the apartment + storage unit. Utilities will be a bit more, but I can handle that. No more walking the dog + washing and working on my own car in my own driveway + doing my own laundry without needing quarters = w1n.
But there's still a sense of sadness about moving out of that apartment. As I looked out the patio door onto the courtyard, the other building, the river and the park beyond, I felt a sharp hollowness. A distinct feeling of a space where something is supposed to be, but isn't.
The carpet still has all the impressions from the furniture. I looked around and saw exactly where everything sat for a year. A year that was supposed to be temporary. Just long enough to save some money and start rebuilding a credit and rental history after filing bankruptcy and having our house foreclosed. It was just for a little while, then we'd move back into a house, something better. Living there came with a persistent sense of dissatisfaction. I would not have wanted to leave things like that.
Besides the practicalilty, there are other good things about moving away from there. In a large scale way, it's getting rid of the final reminder of her illness. That's where she started getting sick last spring. That's where things got worse and that's where we lived when she died. I immediately got rid of her hospital bed and other hardware, but getting rid of the apartment itself took a little longer. The legacy of her sickness is there and I am leaving it there.
There were good memories there too though. The mirror she wrote on in lipstick last summer is one of them. I'm working with the apartment management to take it with me.
I think the hardest thing about leaving that apartment is that I'm going from a place that was intended to include her to a place that isn't. The last four places I've lived have been with her, and the one before that she practically lived with me for a while before we moved in together. The new house is the first place I've lived in without her in nearly five years. There's a weird nagging feeling that I should set up a space for her - it's just that built-in, it's that much of a habit to think of her and include her in my ordinary day-to-day thoughts.