I’m Still Breathing

Hey blogland. I am still alive and kicking. Lots of kicking, actually — which is why I haven’t had time to razzle dazzle you with exciting pictures of myself in sweaty workout clothes or photos of my fat Callie Cat. I don’t know how you’ve managed to get by, yet I commend you for hanging in there.

I am supposed to close on my townhouse next week. In a cruel twist of irony, the closing date is set EXACTLY three (yes three) years (not months) from the date that we (ugh, we) first listed it. Three years. June 27, 2009 – June 27, 2012.

Just until this week when I began to let myself think “wow — this sale may ACTUALLY happen,” I hadn’t realized the emotional weight I’d been dragging behind me for the past three years. Most of you know, it’s not just a house. It’s a 1,600 sq. ft. 3 bedroom/2.5 bath reminder of a place I wish I’d never gone. So the past two weeks and all that has come along with it to sell this home has put me in some sort of mental time warp. Days seem like years and my mind moves like my head is full of molasses.

I am a self-confessed, Type A planner and to-do list maniac, so I have the ability to distract myself with the details and with the process. “Ok — now, I need to reserve a UHaul. Need to schedule the cleaning company. Need to be sure I transfer the HOA account. Need to sell this furniture on Craigslist.” etc. Then the process slows for a minutes and I find a quiet moment to take a deep breath — and I collapse. Of exhaustion, mental and phsyical.

As I cleaned out the last closet in the townhouse Monday afternoon, there was almost nothing left in the entire place except for what’s on the walls and the furniture. (I hesitate to “un-stage” it in case something falls through with the sale). There was only one thing left in one closet. My wedding dress.

It was in a box, preserved. My sweet Momma had done that for me years ago — (and Mom, this is the first time you’re reading this, so I hope it doesn’t upset you). I’d considered what to do with this thing. I didn’t want it staring at me any longer. I researched “Fairy Godmother” type organizations that give wedding dresses to people who cannot afford them, but it seemed all the local organizations were stocked full of wedding dresses and needed prom or formals instead.

I considered having my sister-in-law do a “trash the dress” photoshoot with me wearing it. You know, jump in the lake with it — roll around in the dirt — throw paint on it. (My Mom probably just died a little inside). But a.) could I even fit in the damn thing anymore? and b.) I didn’t want to put it back on, even to roll in cow poop.

So I put it in the trunk and took it to Goodwill. Someone else will love it. Someone else will NEED it. Someone else will maybe start their happily ever after in it and get to feel beautiful and special in this dress they maybe would not have been able to have otherwise.

When I stepped out of the car with it, the Goodwill man at the donation truck said “DAMN. He messed up bad.” The manager asked him to take it in the store right then, not to put it on the truck. “Someone will buy that today,” he said. “You just made somebody’s happily ever after.”

“Hey — that’s what I thought, too, mister. You give to Goodwill, you give me a wedding day.”

“Yeah girl,” he said, with a high five, appreciating my nod to their advertising campaign.

I watched him walk away and teared up a little bit, maybe. I loved that dress and how it made me feel that day. But not how it made me feel today. I couldn’t purge the house, the connection to him, the remaining few things we shared in that house together, but hold onto that dress for some reason. What would be the point?

Even though in many ways I’ve moved so far along the road of my next chapter, and know better about what love should feel like and how it should treat you in return for yours, next week I feel like I’ll take the final step to really shaking that weight off.


Now — does anyone need a lovely engagement ring and wedding band? I’ll make you a fair deal. 😉 THOSE will not be going to Goodwill.



15 thoughts on “I’m Still Breathing

  1. Maybe that’s what I should do with mine. It’s still hanging in my closet and I hate knowing that it’s there. So glad to know that you are finally in the process of selling your townhouse… and getting some last remaining closure. I look foward to being at that point myself although having a child with someone almost makes it impossible. Good luck, girl!

  2. Even though this is a painful subject, this post is amazing. I’m so proud of you, Jenn! This takes massive amounts of strength. You’re my hero.

  3. Wow, friend. I don’t think you’ve ever revealed yourself like this on the ol’ blog. Very vulnerable… and quite moving. I cannot begin to imagine the many, many emotions you’re dealing with right now… I know it must be a roller-coaster. You are a BRAVE woman for following your heart… (with regard to the marriage, the sale of the townhouse, the donation of the dress). PROUD of you for staying true to YOU. Onward and upward, my dear!

  4. Jenn – love reading your blog. While I don’t know entirely what happened – I can gather that it was an extremely hard decision and process. You definitely made someone’s dream wedding day come true! Congrats on selling your townhouse.

  5. So excited for you…and crying a little bit. I have known I wanted to get rid of my dress (so lovingly preserved by my sweet mom) but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I love how beautiful your heart is and how beautifully you wrote this. I hate we didn’t get to hang this weekend but I will send you an e-mail recap. 🙂

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