Our house has been on the market about two months now. (Phillip has been gone about three months, as it took us a while to get the house ready to list.) We have had many showings but no offers. There has been very little in the way of negative feedback. I know that all we need is for the right person to see it, and that could happen any day--maybe today! Two months is really not that long. But a little voice inside me has started asking, "What if?" When we first put the house on the market I didn't look much past Christmas. And my vision of Christmas was that by that time surely we would have sold the house. I pictured us spending Christmas together in a new house in Oklahoma. But now that little "what if" voice has made itself known, and lately it has been getting louder. What if we don't sell any time soon? What if fall drags into winter, and winter drags into spring, and we're still here, waiting?
It's not just the living apart from my husband that makes this hard, although that's the biggest part of it. It's the realization that this is Caitlin's last year at home before college, and she could end up spending it without her father as a daily presence in her life (and vice versa). It's the realization that Evan has already missed out on one year of singing in his dad's children's choir, and now he is working on year two. It's the realization that we gave up a lot of things on the assumption that we would not be here to participate in them. The feeling of loss regarding those things will be even greater if it turns out we could have kept them in our lives one more year.
And yet as I write this, I feel like a big baby. I know of women who have had to spend much more time living apart from their husbands than I have. I know of women who are permanently without their husbands, rearing children on their own. Who am I to complain? The children and I have the familiarity of our home, our well-traveled paths, and each other. I have more free time than I've had in years! Meanwhile, Phillip is all alone, trying to learn a new job while not having a place he can really call home (he is boarding in a parishioner's house). He has the much harder "row to hoe." And yet he doesn't complain, but spends his time on the phone trying to build me up after working 16-hour days. He puts me to shame.
Once upon a time there was a church I loved too much. It's not my church anymore. There were some friends I needed too much. They're not in my life anymore. I have been told that I love my husband too much. He lives in another state now. Maybe if I loved this house more it would finally sell. . . .