Hooray for the people that "get it".
When all the shit hit the fan, we were living in the physical manifestation of what was going on in STBX's head. In other words, a disaster zone.
I had many smart people tell me that I needed to "reclaim the space". We needed to make it a new space. Something that looked and felt different. Something that, should he ever care to think back upon what he did, he would be remembering a place that no longer existed.
Getting rid of furniture that he had lived on was the first step. There are ghosts imbued in furniture, in case you didn't know. If you sit at the end of the dining room table and look across at the empty chair, it's never just an empty chair. It is HIS empty chair. You know, the one that did this and that and the other and zoooooom....you're down the road a million miles and hour, careening out of control.
That's why my first purchase was a comfy chair for myself. I had never had my very own comfy chair and our house had always, ALWAYS been a very uncomfortable place. Every place to sit down on was hard and painful and I made it my own personal mission to never have any of my friends come to my house. I love my friends. I hated my house. The two just don't go together at all.
The fixing up has been gradual, I do what I can, when I can. But a couple days ago I ran into a friend that I hadn't seen in over a year. He had seen the article in the paper and was asking how I was "really" doing. When I said I was still in the same house, he gave me his total and complete "I love you and I have the ability to see to the very center of your soul" look and asked that most important question "And is this ok with you?"
Those are the questions that lay a gentle hand on your softly beating heart. There have been a few moments like that in this journey, times when I have such an overwhelming fondness for my friends that I nearly start to cry. Not because I am sad, but because I am loved.
"Well, it's getting better," I explained. "It's already very different than what he would remember and most of the things that he poisoned are gone."
I then proceeded to explain. The time is getting closer. The time of the great fix up.
See, there's this guy I know. We go way back...
Now, most people might look at their old family photos and laugh and tell this story or that and pass it all around to the rest of the family members present, who, of course, get to see each other regularly and can remember and embellish upon each others stories.
Since we didn't get to grow up together and so many of our separate family photos were lost, finding photos where we are actually together is like finding a diamond ring your box of Captain Crunch.
I don't know how my siblings react but I find myself holding these photos delicately. They are proof of a time that I can barely recall. Proof that, at one time, for one day, maybe for a few hours, we were together and whole.
Even at a young age, my big brother was no doubt thinking of ways to trick out the tricycle.
Yeah, the plastic streamers on the handlebars were waaaaay to 1960's.
Now my brother is iinto creating beautiful old cars out of scrapped old bodies and pieces and parts from all over the world. Everything is original and incredibly restored. There are many trophies and awards to show just how good he is...
I felt like The Joker when I was standing inside his garage while on vacation.
"Where does he get all those COOL TOYS!"
But my brother has always been there. In bad decisions...
and in good...
And if I included the photo that I have of his amazing wife, she would no doubt dope slap me so I will just say that they are a dynamic duo and I will get a much better picture of her when they come to visit in a couple weeks.
Yes, they are taking a vacation to visit Duluth, MN, right when it's getting cold.
Snow? Why I believe it is in the forecast for this weekend...
And they are bringing with them their dynamic duo capabilities. And tools. And my birthday present...a new floor.
Because they get it too. They understand that it's not just about fixing a house. It's about exorcising the ghosts and claiming a space.
Tools? Check. Paint? Check. Screws? Check Holy Water? Check.