And So It Begins . . .

The real estate agent was here today, taking photos of the house and putting a lock box on the door. She was kind to me, understanding that it’s different for me than for my siblings. For them, selling the house is just a task to be completed or ignored. For me, it’s . . . well, it’s the first step into a whole new anchorless life.

Having anchors isn’t always good because anchors keep us trapped. But anchors also keep us grounded, connected. And I will no longer have an anchor. First Jeff (my life mate/soul mate) died, then my father (not that I was deeply connected to my father, but I did come to look after him after Jeff died, which gave my life an anchor), and now his house is being sold. All I have left will be a storage unit full of stuff. (And friends. I do have a lot of those, both online and offline.)

It feShipels at times as if I’ve stepped off a curb into empty space, and I’m sure that feeling will be even stronger in the days to come.

No one, including me, thinks the house will be on the market long. It’s too nice, too almost-new with a fantastic view. And it’s in a wonderful, quiet, safe neighborhood. The thought of a quick sale is good because I won’t be inconvenienced for very long by visiting realtors and buyers. (Should be interesting. They want me out of the house when lookers come. “Just take a short walk,” they said.) But then, after the house is sold . . . (here again are those ubiquitous ellipses signifying nothing!)

Yesterday I felt as if I were being punished for coming here to look after my father. Today I’ve gained a bit of equilibrium, though the tears I couldn’t stop shedding yesterday are still close to the surface.

Ah, those pesky tears! They make me feel like such a baby, but I’ve come to understand that most often my tears aren’t a result of self-pity. They are more of a reaction to the incomprehensible. And unfortunately, I keep running into emotionally unfathomable and intellectually inconceivable situations. In other words — life.

Not only am I losing my anchor, I’m feeling rudderless. (Weird that I’m using all these nautical clichés — me, who’s never been on a boat in my life except for a ferry once eons ago, and an amphibious vehicle a few years back). I’ve mostly finished my packing. Except for furniture and what I need for daily living, the house is empty.

I’m living out of tubs. In this case, “tub” is not some sort of nautical term, but is literal. I have small tubs for my personal items so that I can quickly scoop them off the bathroom countertop and stash them out of sight. Same with my dishes and computer accessories.

And so it begins, another transitional stage in my life.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Realtor Time

I’ve spent the whole morning getting my father’s house ready for realtors to look at in preparation for putting the house on the market, and now I’m between realtor appointments.

The first realtor said he liked the house, but he might have been backpeddling. While looking the place over, he kept finding faults — the mantle over the fireplace would be a drawback for the younger crowd, the pillars that defined the greatroom were a mistake, the living room floor should have been tile to match the entryway and kitchen, the house was too plain to get the big bucks.

I found myself bristling at his words, as if he were insulting me, which was sort of strange. This is not a house I chose, and I had nothing to do with the design “flaws” the realtor took exception to — I just sort of landed here by accident. I got a grip on myself, or rather a grin on myself, since my reaction was rather humorous.

When he left, he said I was a nice lady, not high maintenance, and it would be a pleasure to work with me, but really, what else could he say, that he dreaded meeting me again? (And anyway, it’s the truth. I am a nice lady and I’m not high-maintenance.)

The next realtor will show up in a few minutes.

This is just the beginning. Strangers will be traipsing through the house, and I will have to live in unclutter, putting away projects each night to make sure the house is presentable in case of a showing, and eventually, someone will fall in love with the house, and it will be sold. And then . . .

My thoughts of the future always end with ellipses since I haven’t a clue where to go from here, but I’m okay with that. Finishing packing my stuff and dealing with realtors and potential buyers is enough to think about for now.

This is a big step for me, learning not to project myself too far into the future, and so far it’s working. I’m much more at peace with myself and the world than I have been for a long time. Now if I can just stop overthinking everything, I’ll be on my way to . . .

Yep. Those dang ellipses again.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.