My 11 Month Old Baby Wakes Up Every 2 Hours A Widow Releases Personal Belongings, Sells Her House, Releases the Roles That Died With Her Husband

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A Widow Releases Personal Belongings, Sells Her House, Releases the Roles That Died With Her Husband

When my husband died, I had to make a decision about whether to continue living in our house or sell it. For 3 1/2 years, I pondered, talked to my children, meditated, prayed and waited for the clear answer. Flying from Maryland to California for a conference brought my answer.

I was sitting on the plane with my eyes closed and relaxing. Suddenly an image appeared in my mind. A mid-sized U-haul was sitting in my driveway. The words, “Clean your house like you’re moving across the country” popped into my mind. My eyes widened as I thought, “Am I moving across the country?” No clear answer. The words “Clean your house like you’re moving across the country” kept ringing over and over in my head.

I understood the message. Clean up your stuff. Clear out everything you’re holding on to that no longer fits in your life. I had cleaned my husband’s things, now it was time for me.

I started with one room. My goal was to clear the stuff in that room for 3 days. Get up in the morning, make your coffee, pull some boxes off the shelves and spend an hour assessing before starting your day. It was time for lunch and I spent another hour; after dinner, another hour. I kept hearing the words, loose, loose, loose. It became my mantra.

Here’s an example of my process: I had four huge storage boxes full of cake decorating supplies. First I thought about the memories and the times I had used the materials. Next, I asked myself, “When was the last time you baked a cake? Answer: Four years ago. Question: Do you still need 20 character molds?”

I sorted through them, called a friend to see if she wanted any of the materials, created a space to sell an indoor garden, posted the information on Facebook and Craigslist. After a week or two, everything that was left was loaded into the car and dropped off at the Salvation Army. I went through this process with everything in my house. Craft supplies, books, clothing, papers, furniture, tools, cookware and everything in between.

After three days in the first room, the next inspiration came to me. Sell ​​the house I talked to Hannah, my youngest daughter who still lived at home with me. We agreed. We were both ready to let it go. I called a real estate manager and we made a plan to tour the house and put it on the market in 4 weeks. I was in action mode. I woke up every morning with the question. What action do I take today to free the house? Clear next steps emerged each day. Each week, layer after layer, layer after layer was removed from the house.

As part of letting go of “stuff” I was also letting go of parts of me. I had to let go of the woman who was taking craft supplies to the beach for her nieces and nephews. I had to let go of the Girl Scout leader, the homeschool mom, and the woman who created community craft events for kids. With each step, there was an internal push-pull inside me. I have loved the life I have been living for the past 10 years. I loved working with our homeschool community. I loved my house. I loved everything!

I felt like I could stay in my community and do this job forever. I would continue to work with the children in the community and one day with my grandchildren. But, something inside me changed after my husband died and I had to let go to figure out the next path for myself. In case there was any doubt, the outside world reflected that it was also time to let go. Many people in my community were moving on to other parts of their lives. It wasn’t just me who was closing the door. I felt like God was playing a cosmic joke on me.

God: So you think you’re going to hang out in Baltimore in the same house doing the same thing.

Me: Yes, why not. I love this life and have been making a difference here. I want to stay here. What else would you do?

God: (Big laugh) Oh, my dear, you must leave all this before I reveal your new life to you. You are so precious… Just wait and see…

I developed a weekly routine. On Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, he lamented the loss of what he had just launched. I played John Denver songs like Perhaps Love and sat on my bed crying. Who would I be when all things were gone? Who am I without the titles of the roles I’ve been playing? Would he still be loved? Would I have value?

The most important thing to free was my house. My heart and soul were in this house. When we bought it in 1998, it had three fallen ceilings and 27 broken windows boarded up with plywood. There was graffiti all over the house. We worked on the house for 5 months before moving in to continue the renovation. We paid someone to install the windows and upgrade the fuse box to a new circuit breaker system. The rest we did ourselves. Every weekend for 5 months we sanded and refinished floors, repaired and painted walls and ceilings. There were so many memories on the walls of the house. I thought this was the house I would grow old in and that my children would come to live here when I was too old to climb the three flights of stairs.

I cried and let go until somewhere in between cleaning and getting ready to sell the house, meeting with homeschool groups to finalize Hannah’s 10th grade paperwork, and thinking about new steps for the Conscious Choices Book, a series of of new ideas. .

Move to California. With the release of all my personal belongings, dreams died giving way to new dreams. Hannah declared that we would be moving to Los Angeles when we visited the city in 2005 and 2006. For the first time, I was feeling that too.

The willingness to let go will open the door to endless possibilities.

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