Dear Kendall House:
As I prep you for another showing, praying as i do so that this will be the ONE, I am reminded of the first time I laid eyes on you. I was, of course, taken aback by your beauty. I had never dared dream I could live in a home so lovely. You promised me a dream, a fresh start. I imagined our family here. A new beginning. Separation from all the relationships that needed time and space to heal, the seclusion I craved to bring our new family closer and to shut everyone else out. It never occurred to me that the distance I craved would only be seen by my children as a wedge between the life they had always known and this new life that I wanted them to love as much as did. I only saw the fresh air, the freedom to live our lives with no one watching or stopping in to see for themselves how well we were managing the transition of becoming a real family unit, and the alluring promise of a new start. As I pulled the weeds from the flower bed I could never seem to grow anything in (except the rose bush that was supposed to be a beautifully contained tree but like so many other things over the years, has become something else...these days it is just sharp thorns that have a tendency to grow out of my control), I realized these new weeds are like our family. Our roots here have only ever been superficial, at best. They reach just beneath the surface. The last eight years here have brought many emotions, ranging from joy to heartbreak. You are filled to the brim with our memories. The scraping of old wallpaper, a broken furnace that flooded the living room but led to brand new carpet which was my heart's deepest desire at the time, and the many, many layers of paint that represent my own inability to fully commit to any one color in any one room and the constant need for change and improvement in my self and my life. Two babies were conceived and brought here, to this home. This is the only life they have ever known. One child grew into a young man within these walls and then walked out that front door, entirely too soon for my liking and sometimes I wonder if it was before he was ready. He seldom returns. I feel the loss of his presence. I initially dreamed of the space you offered our family. I imagined us growing into this home, adding to our family. Instead, the space has grown between us. You have given us too much room to be "alone." Some would prosper here. Maybe even us if we had not started out so differently. In homes that were too tiny, with makeshift bedrooms. Even though we were piled on top of each other, our homes were still the "go to" place in our young and thriving neighborhoods. The door was always open. The cabinets always stocked. The rooms always full of friends. No one came here. It was too far. The laughter of young voices never rang within these walls, apart from special occasions...birthdays, Christmases. I never knew the new high school friends. They never knew me. I thank you for the time we have had with you. I thank you for sheltering and protecting us so many times over the last eight years. You know so many of our secrets. You have kept them well, old friend. I thank you for the time and clarity you gave given me to see what it is I crave in my forever home. I wish you the very best in your future relationships, as well. You will forever be a part of my heart and soul. But it is time for us to part. It is time for my family to start over, to move on. It is time for those old relationships to breathe again. the healing is complete and we crave something new. You did what was asked of you. You came into my life when I needed you most and you have loved us well. I will shed tears when the day comes that I will close your door for the last time. The echoes of our family will remain within these walls for as long as you stand here. I will never forget you but I will leave you. It is not for me to decide when that day will be but I hope and pray, for the sake of my family, it will be soon. I don't doubt there will definitely be times that I will miss you deeply. The days and nights spent here. Sleepless nights with new babies when the comforting scents and sounds exclusive to you were all that kept me company. Long Sundays, when our marriage was new, lounging on the couch, drinking in the peace and quiet of you. So many firsts and lasts under your protective cover. You and I, we will forever be changed as a result of our time together. And while this is a difficult letter to write, I just thought you should know.