Friday, December 12, 2008
Love For Sale
OK not that kind of love get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about the house. Everyone knows how sad I am about losing the house and all that it represents. As December 15th drew nearer I was getting myself used to the idea that half my house would be gone. I was trying to motivate myself to finish packing my books to send them over to the Cartersville house. I’d been delaying it but I planned to do that this weekend as well as packing my summer clothing.
Earlier this week, I’d been listening to an audio book about the Gospel of John and John’s letters. I’d gotten the book free from I-Tunes and there were famous actors and actresses reading various parts of the story. John was the longest living of the disciples and he was there for much of the early times of the church. I was reminded once again what I knew which was that the house was of this earth. Since it was of this earth its importance should be greatly diminished in my life. I should accept that I was losing it. Whether or not I would be stuck in Cartersville or move to a better house it was not going to be my decision.
We have the For Sale sign in the front yard and someone had looked at it saying he was going to put an offer on the house. Each day for a few days I would ask if we’d heard anything. The act of saying “Did we get an offer?” made the reality of what was going on more concrete. I stopped asking because after a few days I figured that no offer was forthcoming.
I had stopped mentioning the house to Darryl. I secretly entertained myself with the happily ever after movie ending for the house. You’ve seen it time and time again in the movies or on tv. The family is on the verge of losing the house when something major happens. It is unexpected and it always comes just at the last minute. I imagine myself winning the lottery and saying to Darryl “Look honey now we can stay here!” I imagine winning a contest with a large cash prize and as I sign the affy I turn to Darryl saying “I told you we wouldn’t have to leave. I knew that we were meant to be here.” I see clips of an old Little Rascals show where an old woman almost lost her home to the bank when the Little Rascals put on a show and earned enough to save her home. I remember another show where a woman was going to lose her home when she discovers some old stock she had forgotten about and discovered that it was worth a fortune. She’s able to keep her home. I remember the part of the book in the Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio when they were days away from losing their home and she wins the money to pay off the home.
The fantasies entertain me and sometimes comfort me or make me hopeful but my mind is becoming more in sync with reality. We are going to lose this house and it will no longer be my home.
Then I got home and Darryl greeted me with some news about the house. “Did I tell you about the house?” Like I said I haven’t asked him about the status of the house for several days. I didn’t steal myself for what he was about to tell me. It was if I already knew the answer and I was ready to hear it. “No you didn’t. Did that guy make an offer? When do we need to be out?”
I almost didn’t hear his answer. That’s because the video began to flash in my head “We’ve saved the house. You can live here forever” began to play as I half listened to his answer. “The bank says that since we have the house up for sale we can stay here until March. I’ve cancelled the moving van for December 15th. “ WHAT????????????? I was lost for a moment. Did dream that sequence? It couldn’t be real. I dared break the moment because I knew I needed to be in the moment and really understand what was happening. “We can stay here until March? Why is that?’ He then explained that the bank can’t really work with us as far as lowering anything until he gets a job. In the meantime they don’t want a foreclosure on the books or a vacant house or a delinquent loan on the books. It’s better to allow us to remain in the home and try to sell it. They feel it’s easier to sell it if we are in the home and they’d get back more of their investment if we sold it than if it went into foreclosure or if we gave it back to them.
I looked out the window of the loft. The lights twinkled down below and into the distance. Does this mean I can decorate for Christmas? “Sure. If you want to do that this weekend I’ll help you.”
We talked a bit more about the house and about how I’d already begun separating myself from the house and about how for him the house was just a house. He told me that it didn’t matter where we were we could always be happy. He said that there would be other houses and that this wasn’t the end of the world. This is true. I’m just thankful, just grateful that I can stay in the house for the holidays. I don’t’ know if I dare dream that this is some signal that things are going to get better now that I’ve accepted where we are. I do know that for now I am still in the house. It is still up for sale and perhaps someone will buy my house.
I am grateful that I have more time to get my thoughts and feelings in order. I am grateful that I have someone who is there for me. Some people lose it all but I still have so very much to be thankful for and maybe that’s the lesson that I need to draw from this whole experience.