The Weight of This House

I first stepped foot onto this property a little more than fifteen years ago. It was dusk. There was no driveway. Just an undeveloped two acres of wildflowers, forest, and the river. Thrills ran up the back of my neck, prickled my brain. “This is where I’m going to die.”

Beside me, Chris said, “So am I.”

He was eleven. All that was to come was still years away, not even a momentary consideration of a path on our horizon. I laughed. “I sure hope you’re not still living with us by then!”

I don’t remember exactly his response, but he said something about it being his house by then. We were moving into this new adventure, into this dream come true–a log home on the river, in the woodsy mountains, in this town we love–with every expectation of those in the prime of life with nothing but more good stuff coming our way.

Things don’t always turn out the way we anticipate. The weight of this house and all its echoes rests so heavily on me now.

ambivalent: n. in psychology, ambivalence is defined as the mental disharmony or disconnect a person feels when having both positive and negative reactions regarding the same individual, situation, or object.

This is what I am. I want to leave here so badly, leave behind this shattered dream, this too big house, the expense, the echoes of all the good and bad that happened here. But the thought of leaving rips me apart. How can I leave this beautiful piece of land, this house I dreamed of all my life? How can I leave Chris’ tree, the roof he built, the splatters on the wall from the chemical explosion that stunk up my house for days? How can I stay with those things, and not feel the weight of them forever? I want to go. I want to stay.

We need to go.

This house is too big. The property, too much. With Frank possibly retiring, our expenses need to narrow down to what we need, while still having some semblance of the life we’ve worked so hard to live. I WANT small. Cozy. A place just mine and his. No echoes of kids’ laughter in the rafters, or bangs in the night that meant catastrophe had fallen…again. I know this is right. And yet…

Ambivalence at its most visceral. It hurts. And it’s heavy. And I need to let it go. I know that underneath all the churning in my gut, my heart, my brain. In writing this, all that churning makes the computer screen blur and my flying fingers skip keys.

I know it’s right.

I know it’s right.

It’s time for a new adventure. We just have to take that leap.



Filed under Family, Life's honest moments

14 responses to “The Weight of This House

  1. MaryAnn Forbes

    It does seem that it is right, yet not easy my friend. The love and memories from your home will go everywhere with you, and you and Frank will make new memories in your new home. I wish you peace and happiness as you continue your journey…


  2. So very insightful always! So emotion packed and honest! I’ve gone through some of what you are expressing. Letting go of the house, and the work it takes, does not diminish the memories. You will carry those memories, the good and the bad, in your heart forever, and maybe you can take a piece or two of those things that are most precious with you! New adventures can be so exciting! Much love and millions of hugs flying from my keyboard to you!!!


  3. Carol Lovekin

    It’s not as if leaps of faith aren’t what you take, cariad. ❤
    I hear you though – leaving a place with so many memories will be hard. Making new ones will be a joy. xXx


    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Thank you for that, my sweet. You’re right; my whole life is one leap of faith after another. Since writing this the other day, the weight is lesser, and the excitement growing. I know it’s right. Not easy, but right.


  4. It’s hard to take the leap but it is always the best thing to do. LEAP!


  5. I felt this weight of change, although different, necessary due to divorce and limited finances. Spent over two decades in that house, karma brought us to that house. Crazy as it sounds, I talked to the previous owner up until the day I closed the door there on the day it sold. ( that previous owner had been deceased before we bought the house but ended up tying into my family history). I always felt peace there, never spooked. I still drive past the house sometimes. It’s changed owners twice. But I do believe change can be good, and the memories, the good ones, carry on in your heart. Houses are just material things we borrow for a time. Home is what we keep in our hearts. You’ll be okay Terri. You and your hubby. And maybe you’ll find a cozy cottage with a writing nook. Hugs!!


    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Maureen…wow. That was beautiful. Thank you so much for that. “Houses are just material things we borrow for a time. Home is what we keep in our hearts.” I’m going to keep those words close and take them out often. You’re so right.


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