17 months ago we said goodbye. To family and friends and all the familiar things that were part of our lives.
Saying those words became so hard that in the end I couldn’t bear to say them any more. I opted for a “see you later”, because the reality was that, yes, I would see them later, albeit via SKYPE.
Dismantling our life in the UK was signified by the emptying of the house, giving away unwanted items and packing the rest of our possessions onto the container to be shipped on to our new life in Melbourne.
With each piece of furniture loaded on to the lorry, the house became less our home and more a shell. It was a slow process over two days that enabled me to gradually detach myself after eight years of sleeping, eating, laughing and crying within those four walls.
Buying that house had almost crippled us financially. It was where my precious second born child entered this world, his brother sleeping upstairs, blissfully unaware until he heard his cries. The house that had almost tipped me over the edge when we made major renovations (knocking down walls and the like) when Cheeky Monkey was 15 weeks old.
My eldest had his picture taken in the garden the morning he started school. The kitchen was where we received some of the best news and were rocked by some of the worst.
This home of ours, where TS collapsed one night and I thought I’d lost him forever, and where my mind had unravelled to such an extent that he thought he’d lost me.
In between the container leaving and us boarding the plane, I walked from room to room, revisiting the memories of each one.
Without the familiar items though, the house was no longer our home.
My family is where my heart lies, not within a building. So as we closed the door behind us, I smiled knowing that this was the right move for us.
And this week, without so much as a pang, I signed the papers to sell the house.
No longer our home, it is now one more link to our old life that has to be broken as we embed ourselves here.
I have memories and I have photographs.
That is enough.