As some of you know we’ve decided to move into a smaller home, in part because we’ve lost Noah, but also because we live on the very edge of town and want to be closer to…everything. We are moving to a home that is about half the size of where we live now. It will be the first place we won’t have a room for him, which requires a LOT of purging and a LOT of hard downsizing.
I’ll be perfectly honest, there isn’t a thing in this house or in the garage that doesn’t carry a piece of Frick with it: Dad’s toolbox where he never returned the tools her borrowed; the couch where he played XBox with his brother; the dishes he never put away in the right place; or the arsenal of airsoft guns he and Frack used to battle it out over the years. Some stuff is easier to donate, like household items and decor. Some things are harder, like DVDs they used to watch on road trips, bed linens for the twin beds we won’t have in the new house, or the toys the boys played with when they were younger.
The first really hard item to go a few weeks ago was his bike. He loved that bike and bought it with his own money. It was his primary mode of transportation around the island where we lived before moving here. He could be seen cruising up to Dairy Queen where he worked or to the movies with his brother. It was black. It had red pin striping and white wall tires—the perfect beach cruiser. It was very “Frick.” Looking back through my old pictures, I realized I don’t have a single picture of Noah on it. I wish I had taken at least one, but I’ll keep the memory.
But this past weekend was by far the hardest moment related to this move, breaking apart Noah’s room. Even the thought of it has brought me anxiety for weeks. Noah’s room is the place where I’ve felt his presence most. I can lay on his bed and talk to him, see his band jacket hanging on his desk chair and imagine him wearing it, and see the electric drum set we bought him last Christmas, where he spent hours upon hours perfecting his craft and driving our neighbors crazy. We aren’t ready to part with all of Noah’s belongings just yet, and won’t be, but we just can’t take everything in his room with us, especially the furniture.
I spent time in Noah’s room this weekend. For the first time, I opened his dresser where the hubby had replaced the clothes he lovingly washed and folded a month or so after the accident. I sobbed, remembering each shopping trip and the way he looked in every t-shirt, bathing suit, and pair of jeans. I put my hand on his shirts for the first time and when I closed my eyes, I remembered what it felt like to hug him—how he tucked me under his chin because he was so tall. I sobbed some more. I talked to Noah. I pleaded with every fiber of my being that he rest assured that we will never forget him, that even though we were saying goodbye to “his room” that we will always, ALWAYS hold him in our heart.
I laid on his bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering what he used to think about there. Lord only knows. He was 17, after all. I ran my finger along his desk and rifled through his messy nightstand where he kept his junk. I felt his clothes hanging in the closet, admired his size 13 shoes neatly arranged on the shelf—the entire time reminding Noah that he will never be forgotten, reminding myself that I would be okay. I needed to do it for both of us and it broke my heart all over again.
I wasn’t there the day that the hubby and Gav packed Frick’s belongings away and moved his furniture to the garage. I couldn’t be. It was too much to take. But I will be here today when the donation truck comes to take his furniture. It will be hard, but I know I can do it.
God, give me strength to make it through today.
I’ll never forget Noah. I’ll never stop missing him. I’ll never not want him to be here with us. But Noah wouldn’t want us to cling to every bit of his stuff. He never really cared about “stuff” anyway. He was actually one of the least materialistic people I’ve ever known. So, we’ll hold on to what makes sense and we will do it in the timing that is right for us. But I did keep one thing for myself to help me through the move. Noah was a Rubik’s cube genius. But he also liked to take them apart and lose the pieces, so naturally I don’t have any of his cubes. For his memory table at the service, we bought one. I sometimes hold it when I talk to him. That small cube connects me to him, even though he never touched it. I will keep that one thing out to remind me that I will be okay, that Noah IS okay, and that it’s okay to let go of some things because it doesn’t mean I’m letting go of him.