what a difference a year makes

Pablo & I on the Mt. Finlayson trail on SJI - photo by EM Lewis

It’s June 30th.

The day almost went completely by without me realizing the significance. Bob just reminded me.

One year ago today we finished clearing out our house in Silver Lake, closed the door, drove away, handed over the keys, drove towards Chicago with nothing but a blank slate and received the e-mail that would lead us to this house on an island…

That was one year ago today. Twelve months. Just one year!

I just re-read the post that I wrote that morning and I can remember all of it so clearly.

The exhaustion. The feeling of just being ‘done.’ The despair. The OVERWHELM. I was so over it all.

I remember feeling hot, sweaty and smelly. I remember the ache of my feet hurting. (That’s not hard given that my feet ache now for a completely different reason.) The pure exhaustion.

I wrote that I never wanted to have stuff ever again. I took pictures of our stuff out on the curb. I remember feeling like it would never end. Like we’d never be done and the house would never be empty.

But eventually it was. Empty. And the stuff… gone. And we had nothing in front of us but possibility.

On that day one year ago I never would have predicted that in just one year I’d be about ready to have a baby and living in a 1910 farmhouse on San Juan Island.

Isn’t it amazing how much can happen in one year?!

I truly feel blessed.

Reading my post from June 30, 2009 on “Love in the Time of Foreclosure,” what moves me the most is the thought of our friends. How much they helped us… were there for us every step of the way. And how much we’re supported by everyone around us now. Both friends from far away and new friends here on the island. Your support and generosity means everything to us. Thank you!

Last year we said goodbye to a house/ This year we say hello to a baby

Another thing that occurred to me while reading that post…

I wrote about my meltdown on our last night in the house- June 29, 2009. There was a moment where I just sat on the kitchen floor and cried to Bob, “I can’t do it. I can’t. I just can’t!”

As soon as I read that I thought about child birth.

I thought about my impending labor and how there is likely to be a very similar moment.

Me crying to Bob that I can’t do it. I can’t. I just can’t. I’ll likely be exhausted and beyond pain and just done. And I’ll cry to Bob. And he’ll be there to remind me that I can. And then I will. Somehow. But instead of the end result being a blank slate, it will be a baby boy. A new addition to our family.

A year ago today our lives changed forever.

And they are about to REALLY change forever all over again. Just 12 months later.

How do I feel about all of that? Humbled. Grateful. Inspired by life.

Thanks for reminding me, Bob. I guess it’s a good thing that the day almost went by without me remembering. But I’m glad to have the opportunity to acknowledge how far we have come. It’s good to be grateful.

If you’d like to read the post I wrote one year ago today, here it is:

“The Last Night (I Can’t Wait To Have Nothing!)” – Love in the Time of Foreclosure

And if you know anyone who is in the process of losing their house or facing challenging times…. please share this post with them. I believe it helps tremendously to see how much can change in just one year.

Thank you!

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6 Responses

  1. Happy anniversary! I’m so happy that things have worked out. I’m happy it quit raining! I’m happy the sun came out!! And I hope that you are no longer cold. All my best, Joy

    • Thanks, Joy! And thank you so much for how you welcomed us to the island. 🙂

  2. Steph! I’m so proud to hear your story. Congratulations on making it through this year. I love how much you value relationships. I am a firm believer that relationships are why we are here. My blessings go out to you and Bob for the new, most satisfying and most frustrating, yet most wonderful relationship you will ever experience (that is until you have another child!).

    Keep on writing.

    Love, Allison (Jacqauelyn’s Sister)

  3. I need to ask you to forgive me for being the worst welcoming committee ever! And I was always so worried that you thought I was nuts because I loved this place so. Then I forgot that someone my age has way different priorities, like peace and quiet! But, I think this place has allowed you to examine what you hold near and dear. And Malcolm will be your “near and dear” very soon.

  4. I haven’t been losing a house…but I did lose a marriage a few years ago. And then my family. And this year….well, I have been losing a lot of things, including any assumptions about how my life would or should turn out.

    But I’m also gaining – a new sense of self, real relationships rooted in love rather than obligation.

    Thanks for the reminder. I hope that 365 days from now my life will be profoundly different.

    (And hey – sometimes those meltdowns have to happen!! Reaching the lowest low so you can move upwards & onwards…)

    Good luck with the baby!

  5. This post made me tear up. I remember following LITTOF and can’t believe what a difference a year has made.

    Thank you for sharing all your stories. You’re such a fantastic writer, I really enjoyed catching up on life on the island.

    And I’m so excited for you and Bob!

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