Tonight is our last night in our first home together. Most rooms are stark and empty, but with the closet doors and dresser drawers closed the bedroom almost looks normal.
So far, I’m not really effected by leaving: I’m not feeling the expected nostalgia for the house, or the couches and dining table we gave to charity. The reality of leaving hasn’t fully set in yet. Even now, writing this up, it has slowly hit me that I’ll never sit on that couch again—the one we’ve used for the last two years. Things have felt so transitional since we moved in. I made the biggest move of my life, over a thousand miles; we prepared for and made it through a huge hurricane; we got engaged, planned a wedding, and got married, all here. And not long afterward, we started planning a big move back to Indianapolis. Everything since we got here has been a transition from one phase of life to another, and I believe that has made this one a little less difficult, at least in the preparation. And honestly, I’m glad for that. The pure stress of selling a house, arranging a move, making repairs, worrying about work, and finding a new place to live has been quite a lot, and probably pushed out any nostalgia that could have squeezed in. Now that much of that stress has been eased, and I’m sitting in bed on our last night—and taking a moment to clear my head and think it through—everything is flooding—or at least dripping—back: the first time Alice drove me to see the house, and the tears welling up in my eyes when I saw it; coming home after the hurricane and seeing that our home was not only standing, but completely intact; that evening on the patio after dinner when I asked Alice to be my wife; coming home after our honeymoon for the first time as a married couple; and so many more memories.
I’m going to truly miss this house, the first one we ever had together, where so many important things happened in our lives. It’s these moment where I recognize how tiny our lives are, so meaningless to the universe and the world, and how big each memory is, so important to each of us in its own way. This house is a small place in Fort Myers, Florida, largely meaningless to the world at large, but for us, it’s where our life together truly started, where we first started building to everything yet to come.