These past 419 days…

“Into each life, some rain must fall.”

Apropos of many things, these lyrics have been rattling around in my brain for the last few days. Not only because here in the Birmingham area, rain is falling, but because tonight is the last night of me in my apartment.

welcome1
Welcome to this beat-up door.

The apartment I entered upon leaving almost 18 years of marriage. The apartment that was picked because of it’s proximity to my old house and my boys’ school. The apartment that didn’t really feel like home until God healed my heart.

thehome
Remember when my kitchen trash can was so small?!?

I haven’t cried, yet, but I’ve come close. When I was cleaning out the part of the kitchen where I kept cereal, I found an old box of Dollar Tree cereal I had bought when things had been rough towards the end of 2017. I took down all the drawings of the boys’ art that I had posted up in the dining room and hallway of the apartment. My wife, April, helped me so much with packing but for the last few days, it’s just been me, and that’s just fine. I only say that because it feels like me doing the bulk of it is helping me close this chapter properly.

Tomorrow, the movers will show up at 8:30am. And that will be it.

But as much as I hate things about this apartment, like the too-small shower stall, the way the water goes scalding hot when you flush any toilet, the creakiness of the floors, having to live with a neighbor for half the time who kept hours more akin to the Crypt Keeper and liked everyone to know when he had friends over, how hot it gets in here when it’s 95+ degrees outside because the air is working overtime just to keep it around 75…

But damn it all, I’m going to miss this place too. This place saw me through a lot of changes this past 419 days.

myboys
My boys could often be found playing in this floor just like this (when they weren’t pushing each other’s limits to the max).

It saw me move in and drink myself silly for the first few weeks. It saw me start and thrive at a job that I have now been at for 15 months and counting, where I just had one of the best months of my career.

It saw me go on a few kind of pointless dates and stumble happily into finding the best woman I could ever have found for me and my boys.

mylove
I mean, did I hit the jackpot or what? Look at this dame.

It saw me lose my temper with the boys several times, but it also saw me rally and reign in my own temper to reach them and teach them.

It has seen a lot.

It saw me celebrate my first Halloween post-marriage. It saw me celebrate my first Thanksgiving and Christmas post-marriage.

christmas1
I wasn’t sure I could do my own Christmas tree. I hadn’t ever really done it.

It saw a huge snow storm that nobody saw coming.

snow
Snowmageddon! Snowpocalypse! Frozen rain falling in large amounts!

It saw me through each and every step in my journey with April, and now, it’s seeing me leave for my new home with April, her mom, Tripp and my boys.

I’m married now. I’m in a job that I really love. My boys are happy and healthy and mostly good to each other (working on that last one a real whole lot). I have a wife that loves me and is there for me.

And starting tomorrow, we’re living together. Finally. At last.

I’m ready for this new step. For anyone who has continued to follow me and be a part of this ride, thank you for being so amazing to me. Each friendship that has remained has gone to strengthen me, and I will continue to need each one of you. I hope that I can repay your kindnesses towards me by being an equally amazing friend to you all.

Onward, friends!

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