Almost one year ago, I bought my very first house. The three bedroom house needed a lot of work, but I was more than excited to do the complete tear down. I pictured where everything would go and what room would be what the very first second I walked in. It was going to be my very first house and all my own. This little three bedroom home would be the start of my future.
Three months after buying and tearing it mostly down, I found out Jensen was growing in my belly. My very first house all on my own became a house all about the baby. Every room I was imagining a lifetime of memories: first bath, first steps, first day of school. It was all unfolding. The back left bedroom would be the perfect nursery. It had a beautiful window that outlooked the backyard. It was nice, big, and full of personality. That would be my little baby’s room.
All during my pregnancy, we worked on the house. In my head it was closer and closer to the perfect family house. Our little guy loved to come work on the house. The sounds never made him upset. It was like he wanted the house to get done and he loved the work. I can remember being eight months pregnant working, not too hard, but trying to get everything perfect for him. Everyone was helping me out, not letting me lift things too heavy. I would tire easy, then his little kick would get me through the tiredness. He was just as excited to be in here. When Jensen was Jensen and not a little girl, the planning really started. We painted his room blue and orange on one wall and put wallpaper with squares up on the rest. I painted the closet grey. The curtains navy blue with orange accents everywhere. The grey crib with the bright orange and dark blue would welcome his sleep every night. It was unraveling so perfectly. Our little family home would soon have baby Jensen to house.
Then came the smack.
We didn’t get to bring Jensen home. His crib wouldn’t be welcoming his sleep every night. We wouldn’t be able to give him his first bath. His first steps wouldn’t happen here. The floor wouldn’t have little footprint smudges everywhere. All the hopes and dreams for the future ended all in that one second. My little, perfect family home of three became Anthony and I’s home filled with dreams of Jensen that would never happen.
Our first night, officially staying in the house was Tuesday night; Jensen’s eighth week in heaven. I was so excited to finally stay in this house that I’ve practically tore down and rebuilt. It was so relieving to see all the hard pay off. For it to finally mean something. For our future to be starting. I’d like to say blood, sweat, and tears built this house, which it did, but it was built on the foundation of love and dreams.
The house is filling up with furniture, wall decorations, and kitties. It’s still filled with love, hope, and dreams. Every wall is the color I wanted it to be. The floors are exactly what I pictured and the kitchen came out way better than I expected. All the decorations look exactly how I wanted to when they go up. Anthony and I smile at each other while the cats are running around. We’re trying to play ‘normal.’ An outsider looking in would believe this is the perfect little starter home for a young couple.
I guess our reality is hard for other’s to see. It’s hard to see a baby that isn’t here physically. They don’t see the little, blue urn with two silver birds on it and the candle that’s usually is burning. Our decorations with J’s, his name, and the ultrasound pictures would have people believe the baby is on the way. The boxes in the basement full of Jensen’s would let them wonder why we didn’t have them back in his nursery. No one wants to think of the bad.
In all honesty, I wish I could tell you my first night here at the house was great. I wish I could tell you it’s all that I imagine and that everything feels perfect. It’d all be a lie. That first night was so hard. I saw where Jensen should be every time I turned my head. This house has an emptiness that cannot be filled, not that I’d even want it to be filled by anything else. I couldn’t fall asleep, it felt like the first night after he’d been born. It was quiet even with the tick of the fan and the television on. I guess the first night here in the new house was a way I stepped into my new reality that I’ve been trying to fight back.
Move-in day is the next step in this horrible grief process. It’s apart of the acceptance step in the rational part of my brain. I see his nursery, still blue and orange with the playful wallpaper. The backyard that the window frames begs to be looked at by anyone that walks in the room. My memories from when Jensen was here floods me every time I walk in there. It’s the stillness of the room with the flood of internal emotions that takes me by surprise every time. Jensen’s room will always be that.
I was afraid I would resent this house and his room because he wasn’t here. It’s hard because he’s not here, but so is every single day. I pray every day for strength and courage to go on. This first night I prayed I would make it through even though it hurt so much to be here without him. I dreamed that night of Jensen and being in his room together. Jensen knew how much I loved this house. We built it together. In the midst of his absence, love is still shining through.
Love will keep me in this house. Love will keep me on my feet.