When I first walked into this basement suite, on what seemed like a never ending search for a new place, a life with Lilee flashed before my eyes. I saw us playing outside in the private backyard, jumping on the trampoline with the kids from upstairs. I saw her running from her bedroom to mine in the morning. I saw us taking walks down to the park to play, teaching her to ride a bicycle on the nice quiet street. I saw us curled up by the fire watching Disney movies in the winter. I saw an amazing, full and beautiful life in this little home I knew I could raise my daughter in.
And an amazing life it was. Surrounded by family who also lived on this mountain, Lilee and I played, and danced, and sang, and splashed, and walked, and ran, and cuddled and napped, and cried, and laughed. We truly, desperately and unapologetically LIVED here. The Sawatsky’s went from the family above us, to very close friends, protecting and loving us. This street on this mountain gave us a true Halloween when all I asked of them was to answer the door. they brought food, balloons, printed pictures, flowers and love when I had to come home from hospice without my Little girl. Because I lived here, Jody brought Christmas to my doorstep when my heart was cold and broken, in the most cinematic and magical way possible, kept a roof over my head and pushed me to start the journey of finding myself again. Jason and Anika (my landlords and friends) even lowered rent for me so I didn’t have to worry about whether or not I could stay. These people surrounding me helped give me a year of healing without thinking twice about themselves.
My little home is so important to me that my incredible grandparents have even been giving me a monthly “allowance” for living expenses and bills so that I could live here, concentrate on my writing, and only work the amount I can. My mom and step dad, my dad, my sister, my family and my friends spent a year bringing me wine, food, money and love any chance they got, knowing that I needed it. Knowing that where I am is so important. But as I start to come out of this haze, out of survival mode, I am beginning to understand what I need to do in order to find out who I am to be.
As of September 1st, I am moving to Banff, Alberta to live with my Dad. Its a chance for me to cut all expenses in half, to clear my head and my heart, and maybe find out what my next step is going to be. Thanks to my amazing bosses, I am able to keep my “At home” job, so I can still concentrate on writing my book, but to push forward as an individual and start a new chapter in the Rockies.
My heart shatters thinking about leaving my home, Lilee’s home. I love our home, Lilee LOVED our home. It was the only home she truly knew, it was constant and it was stable and we knew we would always have it to come back to. But now I am here without her, and while it does bring me comfort, it is also holding me in this time, always waiting for her to come back home. It was the most incredible blessing to live below the Sawatsky’s and be a part of Sandringham drive, but i’m not the young single mother that moved in here 2 years ago, and my little Lilee bean is on her own adventure through time and space. It is the hardest thing to do, but sometimes moving forward means letting go. Not of the memories, not of the gratitude and the love, but maybe just of the safety net, of the steady ground beneath me.
With sadness and a very deep breath..