On June 4, it will have been 3 years since Dave died.
On June 5, barring any complications with inspections, I will close on a new house. A sweet little pale yellow 1940s Cape Cod in an incredible neighborhood with a big backyard.
On June 10, I should be all moved in. Deciding to move, finding a home and having my offer accepted in a really tough buyer's market all happened so effortlessly and easily, that from my current vantage, I can't remember exactly how I got from where I was to where I am now. It feels a lot like it did when I sold the house that Dave and I lived in together. I couldn't imagine leaving but then the pieces fell into place and once the move was in motion, it swept me along when I had just enough strength to go with the current and land where it took me.
The significance of the date of the closing and the third anniversary of Dave's death is not lost on me.
The house and the new beginning it offers feels fitting and it feels like a gift. I'm starting to see my future as a wealth of possibilities instead of a dark and lonely unknown.
The move isn't just about finding a new home and saying goodbye to my old place, that cradled me for the last two years, and helped me feel anchored to an uncertain life I hadn't ever expected to be living.
It's also about building a life and a home with my new love. If you had told me, even 6 months ago that I'd be moving into a house with a man, I'd have laughed and told you to fuck off. Not that I had no hope that I'd ever find love again. I wasn't without hope. I just never thought it would come along so fast and fall into place as fluidly as it did.
It hasn't been easy, this giant step of loving and committing again. It's been powerful and redeeming and transformative. But it hasn't been easy giving my heart a chance to feel vulnerable again. The falling in love part was easy and lovely. But committing and imagining a future with someone else has been bumpier. It's been scary and raw. I've wondered how I could possibly feel these things again when it still seems as though Dave was just here. I've doubted my ability to be emotionally available to a partner. I've worried about going through it all over again one day.
I've doubted a lot. And then, miraculously, something happened. It was as if a switch was flipped and I realized that with this person in particular (and maybe with the me I've become now), I could risk. I could fail, and flounder, and doubt and worry and talk about all of that worry and he'd steadfastly hold it all. And I realized that I could also be present with him. I could transcend my own pain and anxiety to be there for him. It wasn't the case any longer that I had nothing to give. I did. I do. I have a lot to give. I am not broken and he mirrors that for me. He loves me. The verb love. He proves to me, over and over again, that I can trust him to make the choice to be committed to our relationship, even when it's not simple or perfect or easy. But, it's better when we're together. Life is better.
So, this chapter has completely surprised me. It's brought me treasures I only imagined. I can genuinely feel Dave's relief and joy at things turning out the way they have. It's beautifully hard holding two relationships in one heart. One that was suddenly, horrifically over but not ever actually over and one that is just beginning. One that endured 15 years and was as familiar as my own skin and one that I'm still learning about. I miss Dave and I love him dearly. I love my boyfriend too. That's a lot of love. One doesn't make the other less than. One doesn't make the other harder to feel. But the growing pains of my heart making space and stretching and exposing itself again have been intense and will continue to be.
I have stayed true to my vow to allow for love again. I knew after what I've been through that there'd be a strong temptation to close up shop and build the defensive walls higher and higher after Dave died. I fought that urge like no one's business. I can't have love and beauty and life without fear and risk.
So, with a ton of excitement and joy and only a little fear, I am leaping into this next adventure. We will be a family of five. Me, my love, his dog and my two cats. And maybe one day some human kids, too, who knows.
Off we go.