Sunday, December 7, 2014

An End and a Beginning

Nearly five years ago, Elise found me crouched in the our master bedroom closet, sobbing. We had just finished doing a final sweep of our now empty townhouse, making sure we hadn't left anything behind. All of our worldly possessions had been packed into the back of an Atlas Van Lines semi driven by Carl and headed for a warehouse in Hagerstown, Maryland.

The next day, Elise and I and our two tiny, young sons would leave Jupiter, Florida and drive to Washington, D.C. to start a new life that would first take us to Brazil and then India. But before we did that we had to make sure the townhouse was empty and that we had packed every last pacifier, stuffed animal, running shoe, and interior design, watercolored by hand on foam board.

And it was. The silence was deafening. Every sound echoed in the void. We were leaving the only home our family had ever known, the place where we brought two tiny babies home to, where we had our first Christmas together, the place where Kitty threw up on the rug to voice his jealousy of Sam, the place where Elise and I slept on the floor--enveloped in only our new love--before I even had furniture. The house was just as empty then, too, holding only promise of a future together. Six years later, we had filled it with memories, and on that night, all those memories came crashing down upon my frame, weary with holding a two-month old sleeping Petey through pack-out, like boxes accidentally upset from the top shelf.

We sold that townhouse on Friday. Finally. The sale brings no new emotion. we had already said goodbye. It brought relief, a weight lifted. No more worrying about shoddy tenants. No more worrying that the home might flood (twice) while I am in the middle of a UN conference.

Elise and I found ourselves in Bombay on the night of the closing, the first time we had escaped without the kiddos in over three years, since before Clementine was born.

I asked Elise if she could have ever imagined all those years ago that we would be here, in India, in Mumbai.

She told me that when she first saw me walk into Kee Grill she knew on some level, "Yes." Maybe not specifically India, but yes, we would go places together.

For some, a closing is a beginning. For others, an end. For us, it is both.

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