Funny how something as simple as buying a new home and moving in can cause such a profound disruption in one’s life. It’s been 6 months since I wrote anything here for you, and I’ve been crosshatched severely several times by friends and my Slowtrav family who are impatiently waiting for me to get it together!
All I can tell you is that from the moment I decided to buy a new house, my life has been off the rails so badly that I wonder what the hell I was thinking! The decision came on the way home from having a CAT scan for some pretty serious stuff, and in the light of the spectacular results of that scan, I made an impetuous decision to buy a gorgeous new home.
I remember standing in the examination room for over 30 minutes, while the results of the test were being reviewed. The technician told me I was welcome to sit down and wait, but sitting was not possible, for the potential for tragic news made sitting an impossibility.
So, I stood. I paced. I walked to and fro and back and forth. I walked in every direction possible in that small, dark room. I walked and I prayed. “Please, God, let this be ok. I don’t want to have something that will kill me. I don’t want to die. I have so much more to do and see and try and look forward to. Please, God…..”
It’s not that I think I’m anything extraordinary, that God should wave a magic wand over my life and banish all negative and terrible things from it. It’s really not that at all. It is only that I love my life and the people in it, and …well, I’d rather stick around for a few years or 60, if it pleases you, God.
So, keeping that in my mind, I paced and prayed, talked without cessation and asked for the world. I asked for my world, as I see it. I asked that it not change dramatically and I asked that the return of the technician and the doctor who would assuredly follow her would not be something I’d rather not experience.
After a long while, the door opened, the room brightened as the technician turned on the lights, smiled at me and said, “Brenda, Dr. Talbot is here to see you.”
I thanked her. I looked into the doctor’s eyes and said, “Just tell me, just say it.”
He smiled and said, “OK. You are fine.”
That’s it. In those 4 small words, he gave me back my life and my happiness. He gave me back hope, delight and joy.
“You are sure?” I asked him.
“Yes, Brenda, I am definitely sure,” he replied. “You can go home now, drive carefully and we’ll see you in 3 months, OK?”
OK! You bet that’s OK with me, Dr. Talbot! It’s more than ok. It’s freakin’ marvellous!
In the car on the highway, driving home afterwards, I went back over the examination, the tests, the CAT scan and the results. Astounding, how my life can change in a few seconds…with 4 small words. So many people don’t get this kind of report, and here I am, one of those who does.
An hour into the drive home, I began thinking about the renovations I’ve been planning on my aging home. I thought about the cost, which was a lot. I also thought about the inconvenience and the 6 months of living in reno hell. I also thought about the gift I’d been given earlier, the gift of good news and good health, and I thought to myself, “Listen, girl, you don’t need the hassle of this reno crap. Why not buy Whallen’s house?”
Whallen’s house had been listed with my office for 4 months now, and it still wasn’t sold. It is inconceivable to me why no one has snapped it up, because it is beautiful beyond words. The owners found a show home in Calgary that they fell in love with and they bought the blueprints, called a builder and had the home built on a lot that backs onto the forest greenbelt.
The day they called me to list it, I fell in love. No, not with Brian Whallen, although he’s a very nice man! I fell in love with their home. Everything they had done, all the extras that they built into the home, each gorgeous feature…I loved it all.
Oddly, the house didn’t sell. I showed it with enthusiasm, because it had so many lovely features and a floor plan that I’ve never liked more in any other home I’ve seen. Still, the potential buyers walked in, looked at the stunning maple cabinetry, the black Italian ceramic tile in the kitchen, dining room, bathrooms and all entryways, the solid maple banisters and pewter spindles, as well as the 20 foot high wall of windows in the living room and they said things like, “Ohhhhh, there’s no oak?” They said things like, “Hmmmmm, BLACK floors? I don’t know…..” For some strange reason, they said, “It’s just ….well, sort of….ummm, too different for us.”
Idiots! How could they not love this beautiful home?
Good thing they didn’t. I went straight to the phone when I arrived home, I called the Whallen's and I asked, "Would you mind if I bought your home?"
She said, "Of course, we wouldn't mind!"
It was that simple. We talked about price, and about possession date and also about the initial and additional deposits that we were all comfortable with. I wrote the offer, they signed it and that was it.
Well, not quite.
The bank had a little something to say about it. They said, “Well, you already have a house, Brenda.”
I replied, “Yes I do, and I’m selling it and buying this one. What are you going to do to help me?”
They did lots.
First, they created the usual round of bank-type hassles for about-to-be homeowners. Then, after they got their collective stuffin' together, they approved my mortgage. In 4 weeks, I had financial approval, the conditions were removed and I owned 2 houses! Oh, yes, I owned 2, but I only wanted one, so I listed my first house and it sold to the second family who walked through it.
Today, I’m living in this house that I love. I’ve painted the feature walls a bold, deep merlot colour, I ordered and received exquisitely perfect new furniture and I’ve sent my 2 antique pianos to be restored. I’ve made a lot of changes in my life since that summer day last August, and I’ve discovered that being given your life back provides an incredibly luscious perspective that wasn’t there before. I think it’s called profound gratitude.
Today, I finally have time and energy to pick up where I left off with this online diary of mine. I have some unfinished business to complete, now. I have pieces written and stored in the draft format of this diary, pieces about my incredible daughter and my amazing 15 year old granddaughter that need to be edited and honed to perfection, before I can post them here.
I also have the rest of my life in front of me. I don’t know from day to day if it will be taken away from me in some way, either by a trick of fate or a reversal in good health. What I do know is that the long-ago day last August changed me profoundly. I live at full-throttle now, not holding back and afraid of “what might happen.” What might happen almost did, and for some glorious reason, the gods changed their minds, and for that I am incredibly grateful.
In return for that gift, I have promised the Powers-That-Be that this life of mine will not be wasted any longer. There will be no more “being careful” when it’s not necessary, no more “being afraid” when it really means “I don’t want to.” What there will be is as much enjoyment and awareness of each second, each minute. There will also be as much passion and joi de vivre as I can wring out of each 24 hours that I’m given.
I read a little bit a few months ago that went like this..."When people begin to tell you that you might just be gettin' a little too big for your britches, darlin', just smile at them and tell them, 'You ain't seen nothin' yet'"
That's how I'm feeling a lot these days...just wait, you ain't seen nothin' yet, trust me!