One More Time to Say Goodbye

Woman putting on shirt in bedroom
Woman putting on shirt in bedroom

As my eyes opened I realized this would be the last time I would start my day in this room.
A room in which I had spent the last nine years.

In this room I rocked my babies to sleep as infants. It was a room where I felt my daughter kick from inside for the first time.

I wrapped Christmas presents late into the night with a chair pushed up against the door to ward off curious intruders. Books were read, journal entries written, phone conversations had, and prepping in front of the mirror took place.

I battled the flu here, cleaned children's throw up from the sheets, snuggled with my two cats as they contently purred.
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Clothes were thrown on the bed as I struggled with what to wear after gaining baby weight and nothing fit. Tears were shed when my grandmother died and I cried myself to sleep.

Lightning flashes were witnessed and snowstorms observed buried deep under the covers.

The snooze button was hit a million times, the door sometimes slammed shut.

Behind the door tics were made with a lead pencil, marking my children's growth.

Curtains were swapped out, a new television installed, and arguments took place.

I clung to the side of the bed for dear life as my dog snored, my daughter spread out like a starfish and my son's feet were somehow pressed up against my face.

It was the last time I would wake in my bedroom in a house I called home.

My son stirred in his own room. I threw back the covers and entered his bedroom to find his closet door open.

I went to shut it and paused.

In his sweet, 10-year-old handwriting was a note written on the wall.

"I hop(e) that whoever you are you have a great time in this house. I did. -Dexter A. Harris."

That's when the tears fell and my son woke up.

I sat down on his bed where we embraced and cried. It was time to let go.

We stared at each other and I asked if he was okay.

"I'm okay, mom, just really sad and really scared. But I know I'll be okay because home is wherever you are."

More tears fell, but this time, instead of sadness and regret, some droplets were filled with an abundance of gratitude and love.