Today is the second anniversary of my being a home owner. The anniversary of when I first saw the house won’t be for another couple of days and will require yet another celebration. Today, though, is about the house.
I bought the house sight unseen, though I had viewed photos online. Oddly, I didn’t particularly care one way or the other about the outside of the house, though people who saw the photos all told me how cute it was and how it looked like me. I was more interested in the new kitchen, the walk-in shower with hand bars, the plethora of windows. Despite that, I have been eminently pleased with the house itself — the spooky basement and the now defunct garage not so much, but both those disappointments have been turned into . . . whatever the opposite of disappointment is. It should be “appointment,” shouldn’t it? Since it’s not, I’ll have to go with “satisfaction.”
Though the basement still needs some work, mostly cosmetic, such as paint, it’s not the spooky place it was at the beginning. If I had known I would only go down those stairs a few times a year to replace the furnace filter, I might not have gone to the expense, but it still makes me feel good to know it’s just a basement, not a horror show.
And the new garage, of course, is wonderful, functional, and attractive. It certainly adds to the joy of home ownership.
I never wanted to own a house. It seemed too much of a responsibility. The first time I ever saw the possibilities in owning a place was when I visited my sister a few years ago. Her house is a delight, with art and artifacts and artful displays wherever I would look. But even so, I didn’t want to own, which was good since there was no way I could ever have afforded to buy a place. At least, not then. The years passed and, as luck would have it, a house showed up in my life.
It has all worked out so much better than I could ever have imagined. Not only do I love my house, I love owning it. It makes me feel good, as if I were wearing a warm cloak on a cold day.
Adding to the luck, the town that came with the house has been a good place for me, complete with a nearby library . . . and friends.
There were several very long years where I thought I would never be happy again. There were other times I knew something wonderful would be in my future — since the universe is balance, I figured only something really special could offset the pain of losing Jeff and the horror of grief.
In twenty days, it will be eleven years that he’s been gone, and not only did I find happiness again, I found the “something wonderful.”
Last year, on the first anniversary, a friend wrote, “Happy house anniversary, Pat. And happy Pat anniversary, house. You make a great couple! Perfect together.” And we are perfect together. Other people sometimes suffer a bout of buyer’s remorse, but not me. I knew this was my house from the first time I saw photos of the place on the real estate site.
So today, I celebrate me and the house. Together.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator