When people either choose to or are forced to have a restart in their life it usually follows a time of messiness, hitting rock bottom, trauma, grief, or disappointment.
Or maybe it’s simply a new chapter, with many of the same pieces just being rearranged.
Yesterday four of my girls, my assistant, and I went over to a friend of my mom’s to pack boxes and to help wash dishes. The house was very nice and in a well-off neighborhood in West Omaha.
But the house was in horrible condition. You couldn’t really tell from the outside except for the door knocker missing on their big, bright red front door. But once inside it looked as if it had been decimated by years of frat-style parties of kids who apparently only liked to drink wine. (There were a lot of wine bottles scattered around. Maybe even a box or two of bottles already packed up.)
The house was in foreclosure, and she was being forced out in just a few hours. The goal was to pack up as many of her things as possible.
We only had an hour to spare, so we wanted to get right to it.
“Oh wow! You brought a shit-load of people!”
I winced a bit because our girls aren’t allowed to curse (although we know they do at every chance they get when we aren’t around. We’re not stupid.)
Noticing my scrunched face, she tried to correct herself.
“Oh, sorry. I meant a bus-load of people! I’ve been a nurse for thirty years. I can’t help myself.”
Throughout the next hour or so that we were there, as she gave instructions to the girls about what to pack she kept poorly editing herself.
“Take that shit out of the drawers, sorry… stuff, over there and throw it in those boxes.”
When someone asked her a question about if she wanted something specific packed.
“Sure yeah, any of that breakable shit, stuff, over there can be packed. But I don’t need that other shit.”
This woman’s house was worth 750 grand. And it just got auctioned off at 300 grand. She apparently tried to buy it back, but with all the fees the bank was asking from her, it would have been $1.2 million.
It was sad for her to lose this house because it was her own kids that destroyed it and got her into this situation. I don’t think there was even a back door. The place where I assumed once contained french doors had been covered by Uhaul boxes duck taped to the wall, ceiling, and floor.
The hardwood floors had been severely damaged. The bannister along the stairwell was only being held up by a few loose pieces of remaining wood. There was all sorts of things scattered throughout the house.
In many ways it also looked like the Grinch had come through. Every door handle, cabinet handle, light fixture were missing. Empty holes in their places remained.
It was also sad because this house seemed cursed. Nine years ago it had burned down due to someone setting it on fire. A couple years later, lighting struck it. And this was the house that her husband had died in years ago.
His ashes were in an urn somewhere, probably, and I heard mom mom ask if anyone had accidentally packed her friend’s husband.
We helped out for a little over an hour and left to come back to our own lives and schedules. But today this woman woke up having to finally walk away from the house and all its history.
Today was her restart.