What if it was the last moment in a particular place, and you didn’t even know it? Would you change how it would go, step into that moment a little longer? Take more pictures? Remember the smells? Linger to remember the time, the place, and the date?
Christmas 2022 was our last in our previous house, and I had no idea at the time. In March of 2023, we signed a contract to build our new home, and the estimated build time was 10-12 months, putting us moving in the spring of 2024. I would have had one more Christmas left, and I was all up in my feelings about it in March. What would it look like? Do I go all out? I thought I had plenty of time to work out the details later, and pushed it aside.
As the ground broke and our foundation was poured, my husband said to me, “We’ll be in before Christmas.” “No way,” I said back, “they told us the estimated time to build.” He went on to explain why he thought it as we’re going into summer and more can get done. I didn’t know what to think, not having the holidays in the home that I loved one last time. The thought bothered me.
We had a pre-meeting in June to go over our plans and review the timeline. Sure enough, according to the builder, should everything go to plan, we’d be closing in November. I already had the last Christmas in our home, and I didn’t even know it. It had been spent getting over the flu and was a much quieter time than in previous years.
The last big holidays had already passed for me in my previous home. Halloween was much smaller this past year because our house was on the market, and most of our stuff was placed in storage. We moved the week of Thanksgiving, and everything was in complete disarray. Then came Christmas – the first one in our new home. While lighter than previous years, it was still ours. I’d shift my mindset to firsts with my family – our first New Year’s, birthdays, celebrations, and much more.
How many times do we do something for the last time and not know in the moment it is happening? The last visit to a vacation spot, the last holiday with a loved one, so many “lasts” pass us by, and we don’t realize it until much later.
It’s been a bittersweet journey trying to savor the memories of our old home while I packed it. Remembering my son’s first steps, his laugh throughout, and the many times he spent running around the backyard. Our initials are forever etched into the concrete of the driveway. The “lasts” happened quickly and unassumingly, and the next thing we knew we were onto the next chapter.