During all of these immense changes we’re making to our awesome little cottage we’ve kept Eileen and George in the front of our minds and it’s been an incredibly bittersweet journey.
It’s so exciting to be renovating a home with my husband and learning new things, making new memories and putting our heart and soul into every decision we make; but I am often reminded that the reason we are able to have this adventure in the first place is because someone else’s adventure, someone very near to our hearts, is winding down to it’s end. After writing about all the drastic changes we’ve made in our zeal to get as much done as possible before we move in I realize it may seem to our friends and family that we aren’t fully aware of or effected by the reality of our circumstance.
Every time I see Eileen she never fails to tell me how much she loves that house, and how she wishes so badly she could still be living her life there. Her words break my heart all over again every time I hear them (and with her poor memory I hear them more than once during each visit). I feel this heavy guilt over being young whipper-snappers basically gutting the home she put her heart into for 20+ years. I understand there is no rational reason to feel guilt since it would either be us or some other family moving in and making changes since Eileen simply cannot live alone any longer… but it doesn’t make it any easier on that soft spot in my heart.
Though we have to move quickly and make many changes immediately, we haven’t forgotten about the thousands of memories made in this house – not just by George and Eileen but by all the families that have owned this property. We’ve saved swatches of every single textile we’ve changed so we can make some sort of memory mosaic of what used to occupy the space before we put the Brake fingerprint on it.
No matter how sad it is that all of our life stories must someday come to an end, I have to choose to live in the now and embrace the memories we’re making together in this home. At first I felt like we were erasing this house’s past by altering it, but now I realize we’re adding to the rich history of it – and we’re giving it more time to exist and be loved and lived in before some contractor comes along to tear it down and build condos in it’s place. Now that would be erasing it’s history. We’ll do everything we can to never let that happen in our lifetime.