The era of the land baronesses has ended. whew.
We now only own one house. It almost seems too easy.
I closed on mom's condo on Friday.
It was even more emotional than closing on our own house a few weeks ago.
As tired as we were of running three households there is just something about that moment when you realize you can never go back.
The closing went smoothly, in fact while I was signing papers the buyer called and asked if she could go in. Apparently she was sitting in her car with her daughter - after just having closed on her old house...waiting... nervous waiting. I agreed immediately, even wished I had thought to mention it sooner. I know the day must have been terribly hard for her. I wanted to do anything I could to make it as smooth as possible.
You see, Ita had been living in her home for over 40 years. She raised her children there, her husband was a teacher at the towns high school and she was a nurse (just like my mom). Ita lost her husband to cancer just this past March. I don't the story of how she managed to get organized enough to move so quickly - but I do know that moving to my mom's senior complex is right in between her two daughters. I have to believe that was a major motivation.
After I signed all the papers (it was just me and the lawyers - I am the executrix)
I headed over to my mom's plot at the cemetery which is just down the street from the condo. This was my thoughtful-wifes' idea, and as usual her suggestions are worth listening to.
The afternoon was stunning, warm sunshine and a cool autumn breeze. It was while I sat there enjoying the air and tending to the plot that I decided to go buy a small house warming plant and stop by to meet Ita. Was that crazy? I don't know. But it felt right.
The movers were there, and in full swing. As I approached the front door I waved to an elderly woman just inside. She invited me in even before I had a chance to introduce myself. Once I told Ita that I was the one who just sold her the condo she had me sitting at the table chatting in no time at all. Her daughter was there - helping her to unpack her kitchen. The three of us chit chatted comfortably about moving, and being a nurse, about how wonderful this neighborhood is how friendly the neighbors are - all watching out for each other.
I watched her furniture fill up the rooms that we had visited for over a dozen years. Her sofa set against the wall where mom's green one used to be. I spent more than a few nights during those last months sleeping on that green sofa, so I could be close to her room in case she stirred.
Ita's brown leather recliner remarkably set just where mom's favorite swivel recliner was. You could walk in any time and find her sunken into it. She would spin it around to face the door when she heard me come in as I called out a greeting. It was her go-to spot whether to watch a football game or when she was not feeling well. She even slept in it sometimes when the chemo made her too nauseous to lie in bed.
It did not bother me to see these changes. It felt good. I was happy for Ita. I was happy for the little condo. Happy for all the new memories that were going to happen there. Happy for the new grandkids that would come skipping through that door, calling out to grandma, who might be sitting in her recliner.
Knowing the good energy that was left there, and knowing how much Ita could use some now.
I was ready to let go.
I am ready to carry on.