It was a home to grow old in. A four level backsplit in a quiet neighbourhood close to schools. The house backed onto a wide open space with a bike path that meandered for miles. The kids called it the back-back.
This was our forever home or so we thought. I imagined the kids growing up and going off to college or university. Coming home for holidays with boyfriends and girlfriends in tow. There would be engagements celebrated and weddings planned. Grand babies to swoop up and smother with kisses. Sleepovers with snuggles and bedtime stories.
We would grow old and reflect on a life well-lived. Years watching our children grow and our parents grow older. Seasons of joy and sorrow that made our love stronger. I saw it all unfold from the place in my heart where hopes and dreams live.
We had 19 years of marriage, ten of them spent in the forever house. There were 3 years of heart-wrenching pain as we disassembled our marriage. Scorched earth. No one got through it unscathed. Children suffer the deepest wounds and carry the scars forever.
When we finally had a separation agreement the house went up for sale. When the sold sign went up reality set in. Everything I ever wanted for myself, for us, for our children, was gone forever.
The day I left the car was full. I walked through every room, remembering. My heart felt hollow. There were no tears. I had cried myself dry with every room I packed up. I had nothing left. This chapter was done.
I got in the car and pulled out of the driveway. I was not going to look back, but as I drove away I stole a glance in the rear view mirror. My eyes blurred, I took a deep breath and headed out of the city.