A key – it’s so small, yet can unlock some of the most valuable things in the world, such as a house. I’ll never forget roaming through each room. Amazed by its glossy wood flooring, the natural light beaming through the windows, the welcoming feeling of the colors, the yard of space for adventure, the garage for extra storage, dishwasher for convenience and how regardless of the size it was perfect for us. I was eager to sign the lease, and get my hands on the key to unlock our new home.

I’ll never forget that proud moment of receiving that silver key. I held it with pride of achievement. The house was officially ours. It was exactly what we needed. It didn’t have to be real big, it just had to be ours.


The joyful moment of moving everything in and how we made everything fit so well. I had visions for each room of how I was going to organize and decorate them. My visions expanded often as I would grow bored of the originals or our living space needed some rearranging for efficiency. It was our space, we could do what we wanted.

We didn’t realize how special this home would be to us. The garage was my art studio. The yard became considered a “playground” as the neighborhood kids called it. Our house was the central place to bring friends and family together. Our house and yard brought the neighborhood children together. The kitchen wall was dedicated to my son’s art. I bought my first sofa and flat screen TV for this house. We had lots of great memories and experiences in this home. We loved this house, to us it was ours…

..until it wasn’t ours anymore. January 2nd, I had broken my ankle in approximately 6 different places. I had 2 plates and 10 screws put in. Our lives were in disarray. First, we had to stay with my father during my recovery. Then, I wasn’t supposed to return to work within 5-6 months, but I forced it during my 4th month of rehabilitation. I knew that my ankle needed to fully heal, but when you only have one income, you have to make the best decision to your ability. I just knew I couldn’t continue without income coming in. I tried using my taxes to keep us afloat, but that money ran short and so did the rent money.

A key – it’s so small, yet can unlock some of the most valuable things in the world, such as a house. Well, this house was very valuable to our hearts. I tried to keep it. No matter what I did, everything back fired. Nothing pained me more than telling my son that we were moving, telling the landlord that I couldn’t pay him anymore, telling friends and family that I had to forfeit the house, and telling those neighborhood kids that we wouldn’t be seeing them anymore. Our move had effected so many lives, especially our own. We had spread so much love throughout that house.
During the transition, my son has been very strong, but he’ll express from time to time that he is disappointed. Through all of this, I have learned that he’s a lot stronger than me right now. I’m a very strong independent woman, but what he doesn’t know is that I have wept like a baby whenever he wasn’t around. I had accumulated so much stuff and a lot less help during this move, it took 2 weeks to finish. Coming to this house, mourning its loss for 14 days straight. It has taken its toll on me, but I kept moving. I had to keep going. The faster I got done, the quicker we could move forward.

Then, it was the final day. I had to return the key. My spirits were up, I was trying to move forward and uplift myself. Then, I parked my car in the parking lot of my landlord’s company. I got out and immediately started to shake. I took a deep breath, and regained my strength. I can do this! – I repeated in my mind. I walked to the building, which felt like the walk of eternity. I just kept looking at the key, fiddling with it in my hand and running ideas in my head of how I could turn this around. However, I knew it was too late. I arrived at his assistant’s desk. I had handed over checks to this woman for the past 3 years, and now this would be last time I handed anything to her. She looked up from the computer with a smile, asked how I was, until she saw my eyes. Her smile faded as she had acknowledged that this was a sad moment. I handed her the key, as I fumbled my words. She could tell I was on the verge of crying in front of her, so she swiftly responded, “I’ll give it to him”. I quickly turned my cheek just in time before the waterfall of tears fell from my face. I couldn’t control it, no matter how much I wanted to leave there with dignity and strength.

After, making such a dreadful walk back to my car, all I could think about was, well since I can’t stop crying, I can only hope that the landlord can see my pain. I wanted him to know that I loved that house and it meant so much to me. I wasn’t someone trying to get a free ride, or take advantage of anything. I lost my home, our happiness and years of memories. Our lives aren’t the same now. Quite frankly, they won’t be until I receive another key of happiness that I can only hope that I won’t have to hand over again….

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Written by J. Marie

Founder/Owner, Perfectly Imperfect Parents - Single Mom . Blogger . Photographer . Bar Marketing Manager and Bartender . Artist of Frame Design . Part-Time Student to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

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