Love and loss

It is, without debate, a glorious Sunday before Memorial Day. Low 70s, slight breeze, monarchs dancing in the misty currents, absence of sirens from the Hermosa Beach Fiesta festivities, skywriting planes overhead, two impending offers on my house, another showing later this afternoon, and a glass of Brecon Last Sandwich wine on the tray before me. Yes, life IZ good. 

I have every reason to be abundantly grateful. I’m healthy. My family’s healthy. Bruce is recovering from his left foot and ankle amputation. He’s positive, forward-thinking. He knows, as our friend Julie reminds us, it’s one day at a time. God is with us, and you, and everyone. 

Yet. And yet. And yet.

Those Texas families. Those children. Those teachers. And everyone who has suffered loss. It is Memorial Day Weekend 2022 and it’s hard to feel happy, it’s hard to complain, when you know there are so many people suffering, shouldering the wrenching immobility of grief. Those precious, bruised families are in my constant prayers and thoughts: Lord, be with them every second of every day; let them know they are not alone.

COVID’s re-emergence. The impending Recession. Politics. (Ugh) Mental illness. Gun violence. Ukraine. China. 

And my beautiful house on the market. No, it hasn’t sold. As I said, I have two offers, but both are far below asking price. Looks like I missed the multiple offers over-asking-price wave. 

Sell for less than I expected/needed?

Hold on? 

Rent her out for a few years?

Chill and do nothing?

Enjoy? Count my blessings?

I am in such conflict that I can’t sleep.

I want to do “the right” thing. 

Sell with enough money in my pocket to start my next chapter seemed right a few weeks ago. 

But now? With the prices dropping? 

It is all pretty overwhelming. I don’t want to make a mistake. I don’t want to have regrets. I don’t want to be stupid. 

The Real Estate World has changed in the last month. Big time. I guess, in the scheme of things, it’s all relative. Sell high, buy low. As long as I buy low it’s OK. But the deal is I’m not so sure I want to buy, want the owner headache. As I’ve written about before, I long for freedom, an abandonment of responsibilities.

But as I sit here in my backyard, enjoy my glass of wine, watch Monet nap on the chair, and think about all the suffering and hardship, I realize how very silly and selfish my concerns are.

I can live big. I can live small. I don’t need to be here with the butterflies and the hummingbirds and the drone of yard-blowers and buzzing jets. I could be in a tent along a stream. I could be in the small bedroom in my sister and cousin’s new/old 1960s home in Lunada Bay. I could enjoy being here for the rest of my life. 

But I dream of being somewhere else. 

What’s this all about?

Hope. And trust. And adventure. And freedom. And taking chances. And being still. And listening—and trusting—that voice inside me telling me that it’s OK to feel everything at the same time; the good and the bad, the maybe’s and maybe not’s, the you understand and don’t understand my decisions, the it’s time to rest and take a nap and it’s time to go outside and brush the leaves that never stop falling. 

I’m wondering, is everyone feeling such conflicting thoughts these days? 

Excuse the lack of maybe-it-strangely-makes-weird-sense transition, but…

Bruce needs a walker now. He’s s getting the hang of scooting to the side of the bed, lifting himself up and hopping to the bathroom. He smiles. He’s feeling God’s love, feeling the support of friends and family from afar. 

The IRS took back his 2021 tax refund check–the one he sweetly gifted to me and I kept as a loving souvenir–because he made $155 more last year at his minimum wage job than he was required to. That bit of extra $$ triggered the IRS software to collect back taxes he owed from 10 years ago. Pretty sucky, right? 

But he is looking forward, looking ahead to the day, months from now, he gets his prosthetic leg and can walk along the Esplanade. But today, he returns to Sunnyside Rehab, a place where he’s endeared staff members, especially Tammy, the physical therapist who has taken a’ liking to him. Bruce tells me she lives in her sister’s converted garage in Harbor City. She’s older, has physical issues herself, but works hard with patients, like Bruce, to heal.   

An angel. 

They are all around. On the weathervane atop Angel Cove Cottage by the Sea, my lovely, on-the-market home. At Trader Joe’s, where I witnessed a cashier gift a bouquet of flowers to a red-eyed child who’s pup just went missing. And you. My reader-angels who will find a way today, tomorrow, and the weeks to come, to bring reassurance and hope to the worried and broken-hearted. 

Thank you for being you, for lifting me and others up, for being, as Maya Angelou said, the rainbow in someone else’s clouds.You bring light and hope to the world. Know you are dearly loved and cherished.

One Comment on “Love and loss

  1. Hi Janet, I am enjoying your articles very much. I probably like them so much because Jack and I are also at this crossroad. We have retired a few months ago and are still finding our way in this new lifestyle. I hesitate to weigh in on your life, but, I wanted to put my two cents in regarding your home sale. If you cannot get the price you feel you need to support your retirement, I highly encourage you to rent it out until the market suits you or stay put and cool your jets for a while. Selling your home is the last big chance to get a good chunk of change. (For most people) Starting out your next 30 years with less than you planned / need will really bite you in the back side with inflation etc. Following all your adventures on Facebook it seems you are very footloose and fancy free and having lots of wonderful adventures all the while owning the home. Anyway just my two cents. Becky Brand

    Sent from my iPhone

    Thanks for your much appreciated two-cents. I will most def wait for the offer that makes sense. The two offers I wrote about just upped their offer!!! It is a giant decision, for sure. It is times like this that I wish I had a partner for moral and economic reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

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