I needed this home so much back then. I needed something, anything that really was a home.
We had moved here from a tiny little cinder block rental house and this house was so huge compared to what we had moved from that it echoed in every room.
The house wasn't the only thing that felt empty. My heart was empty.
I had just 'lost' my mother to her mental illness. My sister had just had a baby, that I instantly fell madly in love with, and she had taken him 4 and 1/2 hours away to live with a man that she wasn't legally supposed to be seeing at all.
I so desperately needed something solid, something with a real foundation that I could build upon. That's what this house has been for me.
This house has been the place where my husband and I have both grown into ourselves. We have loved our friends and family so freely here. We have shared this home for more time than either of us have ever come close to being in any other home, in either of our lives.
Now, over the last couple of years, we have been preparing to leave in search of new and different adventures. We are both more sure than ever that it's time to go, to seek out the sun, to find yet another facet of ourselves that we haven't met yet.
And so I have been slowly, but surely, emptying out this house. I have known for a while now that I intend to leave without much baggage. We will leave this place in a very similar state to what it was when we came here. There will be echoes in the empty rooms and my heart will be open and ready for the next big thing.