They’re My Home

We are losing our entire life savings in this move. Not that we had true “life savings.” Our life savings was our equity in our home, and there is no longer any equity. The market has dropped so profoundly since we bought it. Our sweet house doesn’t seem to even be worth what we owe on it.

We had one offer, and the deal fell through. A short sale isn’t too far off for us. Foreclosure is not out of the question.

I have been struggling. Struggling to keep the house “show ready” for two months. Struggling with the unknowns of where we will live, and when we will leave. The only sure things are the schools. Both are set. Todd has interviews next week which will narrow some things down as far as location for rentals to explore.

I’ve been struggling with feelings of victimhood. How is it possible that we who have been so responsible with our money, could walk away from Cleveland with nothing? We who have lived modestly, we who did not take out a mortgage we could not afford, we who have never been late with a bill in our lives, could be in this predicament? How is it fair that we’ve had to pay out of pocket for almost everything medical for over a decade and at the same time pay for medical insurance we’ve hardly been able to take advantage of because autism isn’t covered?

My ego is bruised when I see (or imagine) the cushy lives of friends, who have been in the same house for their childrens whole childhoods, who probably have it almost paid off, who have some semblance of financial security, who have community that sticks.

Off we go again.

I’m alternately ill and thrilled over the prospect of renting. Ill because it’s not what I expected at this point in our lives. I’m having to take a real look at myself and question any beliefs I have about my personal value as a person being tied up in what kind of home I live in. Previously I would have scoffed that I had any of that, but there it is. Right there bobbing on the surface. I’m not above it. HGTV doesn’t help. I have turned that channel off, for good. Having come from a place of poverty, I fear it. I never want to live in a shit hole again. I’m shit hole averse. As are most, I would think. Who chooses to live in a shit hole? I digress. Of course we won’t live in a shit hole.

Thrilled because no maintenance. Freedom. The possibility of living close to the beach. And thrilled for the very reason we are going. The possibilities for our darling girl. Big things in store for her, and for Seth. His new school looks to be fantastic as well. I know it is going to be a wonderful adventure. I know it is going to be good. I know we are so fortunate to be able to put our kids into two private schools, no matter where we wind up living. I know we are fortunate that it is relatively easy for us to find work. Knock on wood.

HT and I have had some of the dooziest fights of our marriage in the last couple of months, and we have weathered them and come through the other side. We’ve let go of a lot of fear in the process. We’re okay. We’re back on the same team, being gentle with each other.

I know financially we are starting over, but we have so much more than so many and I have to remember how truly fortunate we are to be able to uproot and do this. There has never been something we’ve wanted to do for the kids well-being that we have not figured out how to do. I really have no problems.

Lately in moments I least expect it, a memory keeps floating through and tapping me on the shoulder. We were on an Alaskan cruise. Riley was eight. Seth was six. It was night. We were in our cabin, no bigger than a shoe box. Seth was asleep on the bunk above us. Riley was on the little fold out couch at the foot of our bed. Todd was snuggled up spooning me. The ocean was rocking us to sleep. All of my loves were within an arm’s reach.

It felt womb-like. The love. I had everything I needed. I’d never been happier.

All was well.

All will be well.

All is well.


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9 Responses to They’re My Home

  1. kario says:

    All will be well. You are full of love and spirit and acceptance and, even in incredibly difficult times, you have the ability to remain centered on what is most important to you. It is so hard to have had a childhood like yours (and mine) where we consoled ourselves with the notion that when we grew up, we would follow the rules and be good girls and that would ensure that things led to happier ever after, and then grow up and realize it is so much more complicated than that. Luckily, it is also much, much richer and full of gifts and I know you and HT and Riley and Seth will find them all.


  2. Kim says:

    Uprooting and moving across the country is incredibly stressful (says the one who did it 2 years ago!) I feel your pain.

  3. Sending metta your way. May it nestle in your pocket or somewhere close to your heart (your bra, maybe?) and stay there as you travel. May you be happy. May you be well. May you be healthy. May you have ease May you be ok. May you have peace.

  4. Liz says:

    Thanks for sharing the hard side of your journey as well as the good. When you get through it on the other side and are SO happy that you took the chance, those people who follow in your footsteps might be inspired to keep working towards their inspired vision. 🙂

    Moving sucks.

  5. Carrie Link says:

    YAMH. I am so in awe what you and HT have done for your family, it’s truly inspiring. I love the title of this post, the picture, and everything else about this post. I can’t tell you what your posts have meant to me and done for me through the years. Thank you.

  6. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Michelle, as you say at the end of your posting–all was well and all is well and all will be well. In that small room on the Alaskan cruise ship what you had–love–was embedded in Riley and Seth and HT and yourself. You still have this love. It is part of being now and of moving.

    New beginnings are mostly scary because they seem risky to us. But you take with you those who give your life its deepest meaning and you take with you all the skills and thr growth and the beingness that is Michelle. Be gracious to yourself.

    I’ve been away from reading and commenting on blogs for several weeks now. But I’m beginning again and I hope to keep abreast of all that’s happening in your move. Peace.

  7. Courtney says:

    Sending you lots of love.

  8. Tanya Savko says:

    I totally get this. I hated having to short-sell my home of 9 years last year, still owing money on it, and move to an apartment without having any money in the bank. It killed me that after 9 years of paying the mortgage I had no equity in the house because even after 9 years it was worth less than I owed on it. So awful. That said, I love the freedom of apartment living for the past year. It was so time-consuming being a single homeowner, and now I have a little more free time. I’ll take it.

    P.S. Yes, they are your home. Love.

  9. Meg says:

    You’ve got it right – your beloveds are your home, the rest is just shelter. All is well. All will be well.

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