I made a life changing decision a month or so ago. I'm still unclear as to why a trip to visit my youngest son, Keiton, who is a student at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, would be such an eye-opening and heart-healing trip. But it was. I'm not sure if it was because for the first time in close to five years — since the death of my husband — I took five full days to just think about me. Keiton made it easy. He was so excited to have me see his first "home." And yet he made sure that my days weren't crowded with "his" plans but were centered around me. Most days I didn't do a single solitary thing that could be considered productive. I got up in the morning, ran the lake, strolled the beautiful L.S.U. campus, and just sat and stared out his window at the beautiful trees. Evenings were spent in lively conversations with Keiton and his college buddies and quiet times of one-on-one conversations with my youngest, who constantly assured me that it was "my time" and encouraged me to step out and be happy.
For some reason, the cobwebs lifted, and when I got home, I stuck a for-sale sign in the front of my house that had been our home for 20 years. It was the house that I had held onto after my husband's death because I thought it meant so much to my sons. It was the house that held so many memories (good memoies), but it also held me hostage and kept me from moving on with my life.
So in preparation of selling my house, I've spent the last couple of weeks "renovating" the house and my outlook on life. There were lots of memories in lots of corners, and believe me, I "visited" every one of them. But my efforts paid off when, as that beautiful redhead Anna Claire (Keiton's girlfriend) stated when she came to visit a week or so later, "it doesn't even look like the same house." And she is right. Gone (but not forgotten and definitely tucked safely away) are the photos that were our lives, our memories, our reflections of love. I intentionally staged the house to be spacious, impersonal, an "empty pallet" so to speak for some family to walk in and "paint" their own dreams on.