Sunday, January 21, 2018

letting go

March 26, 2017

Thank you everyone who commented and/or sent a note about Willow. I plan to write a tribute to her when I'm ready. Right now the wound remains too fresh and intense. The grief feels overwhelmingly heavy.

March 25, 2017
There is much going on for us right now. We have been trying to move from Washington State to Vermont for nearly a year now and many obstacles and challenges have gotten in the way. We had a private buyer lined up to buy the house, but that fell through. Then Laura had a great job lined up, but that fell through. That left us both unemployed and thus unable to get another mortgage in Vermont. I pursued all sorts of options for rentals, but wasn't able to find anyone willing to rent to a couple with abundant cats.

I was terrified at the prospect of selling our house without another place to land, thus I resisted listing it until a viable option in Vermont presented itself. With no such options surfacing and savings accounts bleeding out, it became clear that the only way we are going to move is if we completely let go and trust. So, we did the terrifying thing - we listed the house. In fact, the house hit the market an hour or so before Willow died on Tuesday the 9th. That fact made an overwhelmingly tragic time all the more overwhelming.

photo courtesy of Laura

The housing market in our area is insane. Shortly after the house listing went live, the phone started to ring - a realtor wanted to come show it to their clients. Our realtor is a cat lover himself, so he understood and explained to the interested parties that we needed that night to grieve, showings would commence the following day. 24-hours after the listing went live, we had two amazing offers that were well over the listing price.

Blog followers know that I've done a ton of projects on the house over the years that make the house more cat friendly. My prayer had been that the new owners would appreciate all the custom cat modifications and their kitties would enjoy them too. And wouldn't you know it, both parties who made those first two offers are cat lovers too! That makes me super happy!

I love that Theo and Nahum both made it into the official listing photos!

Theo loves his front porch!

Nahum parked at top of stairs
We accepted an offer and the closing process is underway. If all goes as planned, we will be out by mid-February. Less than a month away. Yikes.

Many significant details remain unclear, such as where we will live once we leave here, how we will get there with all the cats, how our stuff will get there, etc. We are people of deep faith, so even though it's terrifying, I do believe God has a plan and will reveal the details when the timing is right. In my work at Onsite over the past year, I've been privileged to witness God work miracles in people's lives nearly everyday (including my own life), so I've been reminding myself of that truth when my fears start to get the best of me. Meanwhile, Laura has a second interview on Tuesday for what would be an awesome job, and I have second interview in early Feb. We will be making a house hunting trip to Vermont in early February and hopefully we can find the perfect place for us and all the cats.

It's been a huge challenge trying to grieve while also doing everything that is required to sell the house and I've been away at Onsite in Tennessee a bunch trying to earn a little income. Willow's unexpected death in the midst of all this other crazy has really thrown a heavy wet blanket over the intensely stressful season. With a very heavy heart, I'm doing everything I can to hold tight to my faith and courage while taking the next step into the unknown. Breathe...

Onsite, Cumberland Furnace, TN - Jan 16, 2018


  1. Oh, God, what you are put to! I'm with you in all that hard time, praying to God to be better. Have faith!

  2. Oh dear, you do have a plateful, and grieving for Willow amidst all this must be overwhelming. You will do it, however. We're praying for you and hoping all goes well, and wish we had some encouraging words to ease your pain of missing dear Willow. Time, my friend, time. Good luck with your move. You're certainly heading for one of the most beautiful places. If mom didn't hate the cold she and dad would likely still be in New England.

  3. Goodness, you've sure got a full plate but we know all will work out the way it is meant to be.

  4. Wow, that's a heck of a lot to juggle, process and deal with. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Laura and the fur "kids" as you move ahead. Peace and Blessings.


  5. I am going to include you all...furbabies as well as you and Laura in my prayers starting as soon as I hot send. I pray a lot of times in the day as I'm just walking, driving, working...and certainly before rest. You all will be there.

  6. That's a lot to deal with it, but I'm glad you were able to sell the house quickly and for well over asking price. That must be a huge relief. Sending prayers that things work out smoothly with the moving process and that you settle into your new life soon. We moved cross-country with two cats, an elderly pug, and a cockatiel. Not easy, but it can be done.

    Again, my deepest condolences on the loss of your lovely Willow.

  7. I have thought about you so much since learning of the loss of Willow. I'm hoping that selling your house and moving go smoothly. Life does keep throwing us curve balls doesn't it. Hugs!

  8. Deep prayers for your upcoming changes. I truly am praying for you.

  9. You can do it! I, however, in the same circumstances, would be a basketcase! Which is why we are still in our same house for over 25 years, when it was supposed to be temporary. Heck, just cleaning out my closet gives me fits! Willow obviously wanted you to not fear the future, so she left as a way to encourage you on.

  10. sending lots and lots of purrs....we know there are some lucky cats that will love the things you have done to the house.

  11. that all will unfold as it should. I have no doubt that you, Laura and the fur-kids will help each other get through all that you're now faced with handling. I will continue sending peace, purrs and prayers to all of you as you embark on this new adventure.

  12. congratulations on the offers! We just listed our house in Maine and we have only had two offers and both were painfully under our asking price.

    We just moved from Maine to New Hampshire near White River Junction (VT) we were looking in VT but couldn't find anything and landed where we did just outside of VT.

    I hope you find a place you love quickly.

  13. That is a lot of stress to be going through, especially the loss of your beautiful girl. Keep your faith and I am sure it will all work out with your move. I am in Massachusetts, about an hour away from the VT border.

  14. Such a lot on your plate at one time, especially at a time of loss. How wonderful to have a strong faith. I can remember preparing to move across country many years ago with no idea how, but God worked out the details and I even moved cross country a second time. May everything work out for you and your kitties!

  15. Thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and, of course, Willow's memory. May many, many blessings come your way.

  16. Know that we are thinking of you and praying. Keep us updated.


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