Blog

Nov13

The Move (Part 3)

Follow along as I continue to write my way through the transitional process of moving back to the PNW. For the whole story, check out Part 1 and Part 2

My sister came out for a quick visit a couple of weekends ago. She visited us several times during the three years we lived in the vicinity during my graduate school training previously so we didn’t feel the need to do any of the touristy jaunts in the city. Plus she was here for exactly 48 hours and half of that time revolved around a speaking gig I had while she was out here (the focus of why she was here to begin with). During the remaining half of her time we attempted to give her a crash course in what our life and dreams look like now in this new chapter. It wasn’t enough time for that really, but it was just enough time to re-rip out our hearts when we dropped her off at the airport.

The week that followed was pretty brutal. Faith, our 15 year old, cried herself to sleep nearly every night. Her tears held both loss and resistance as she expressed her desire to “go back home” over and over again.

I’ve released a few similarly expressive tears in the months that have passed since we loaded up that giant yellow truck (read: I’ve cried more tears than I’d like to admit). On the surface, the longing presents as a desire to return to a red house that held our story for four years, our lengthiest stay in any dwelling we’ve had together. The girls miss having their own bedrooms. I miss my kitchen and my bathroom. I miss my floors. I knew every inch of that house, the places where the floorboards came unglued from the steps into the front room, where we had to patch up the holes from Briella’s baby gates, where the wall was dented from a water bottle that miraculously flew down the basement stairs. This house held some sacred stories too. Like when I ran down the stairs to greet Brian and the girls holding a positive pregnancy stick as they walked in from the garage. It held our family as we recovered from a couple of bouts with the flu, a broken arm, 3 concussions, countless sprained ankles and knees and of course my six months of recovery after Briella’s birth. Shortly after moving in, we finally answered the girls’ unrelenting requests for a puppy. Jaxson grew into a dog (for better and for worse) in that very house. There were Christmas mornings, family feasts, birthday gatherings, movie nights and family meltdowns.

As I tear up at the sight of any photos taken in our old house, I understand that it was how we filled the space and how we hoped to fill the space that made it what it was and what we hoped it one day would be. But spaces matter too. So the longing is about the house. But it’s also about more. It’s about how we’re not sure what stories this new chapter will hold. We’re not even sure about what kind of dwelling we’ll land in as we’re renting for this first year as we get familiar with the area. So there is no real place to call our own, no defined space to hold our new stories yet. We are each feeling the lack of a physical and stable container and sustainer of our lives. We’re in flux, in transition. And that’s a really hard place to be, so we struggle with a desire to return home often. That’s part of moving. That’s part of leaving and now seeking for a new space to call home. It’s all part of growing through transition.

 

Saying goodbye.

Saying goodbye with our tear-stained cheeks to the Red House we loved so much.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestGoogle+share on TumblrShare on LinkedIn

2 Comments

  1. Katie

    Shauna, I really appreciate your honesty and love the eloquence of your writing. I didn’t expect or anticipate the transitions and trials of the last three years and it seems I still have much to process, as well as more transitions to come! Reading about the experience of others here is encouraging and comforting.

    1. Shauna Gauthier
      Shauna Gauthier

      Oh Katie! I’m so appreciative of your kind words…but moreso, I’m thankful that these stories and words have brought you some comfort and encouragement. It seems to me that most of life is the work of transitioning, morphing, a continual process of becoming. It can be so exhausting at times. And can also feel so lonely. I would love to hear more about your experiences…and of course, you are more than welcome to write something for this space too. <3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


four + 9 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>