|Aimee walking around our house on the day the "SOLD"|
sign went up, May 1, 2009.
Little by little since then, Aimee and I worked to fix up our little home. We painted the interior, put new doorknobs on, stuff like that. But we still hadn't finished everything we wanted to do as of last December.
So when Aimee died on December 18, the house, at that point, was "ours" in the sense that everything that went into how it looked was decided upon by both of us.
Since December, I've walked a fine line of trying to keep our house 'same enough' that Rowan feels like it's still her home, while making it different enough to ease the overwhelming reminder of Aimee everywhere. It's one thing to have pictures of Aimee displayed - I think it's critical for Rowan to see those - but some things just needed to be altered enough to make the place a little less 'ours' and a little more 'mine'. I know that might seem cold and heartless to some, but I have to live there, and I need to be able to be comfortable and relax as much as possible. After all, our homes should be our sanctuary, not a cause of more pain.
So first it was new bedding. I moved a few things around. Then new bath towels and mat. After that I moved a lot of Aimee's stuff out - her clothes, makeup, most of her books, stuff like that. More reently, I bought a new shower curtain (the old one had been hers, and for some inexplicable reason, I felt it just had to be replaced).
But not everything I'm doing is changing to be different from when this house was 'ours'. Some of the bigger projects I'm undertaking now were on our wish list before. Especially the two that I initiated this past month, one of which is done and the other which will be completed soon: new heating/AC unit and closet doors on all the bedroom closets.
These two things, especially the closet doors, were a big deal to Aimee, and a part of my feels like I'm carrying on part of her desires for our house by doing these. Don't get me wrong - I would have done them anyway because they were both necessary. But it also doesn't feel like an 'independant' project, if that makes sense.
Overall, though, I feel driven to make the house a little less 'Aimee' in feel, because it's just too hard sometimes.
I feel good about the changes. Some of them are for me, and some are for the things Aimee and I always wanted to do to the house. But there is also sadness, because with every change I make without Aimee, I remove a piece of her from the house. It's necessary, and good both for me and for the house, but this continual process of letting go is difficult.