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Just a couch – the pain of letting go

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To anyone else, it was a couch. But to me? The tattered blue arm rests on the three-seater sofa held stories between them, ones that carve into the inner reachings on my heart.

To  me, the couch was that first big purchase after we moved to Maui and began to see progress in our business. Finally, a place to sit that wasn’t a broken papasan left from the previous tenants or the cold tile floor of our 2 bedroom ohana.

The couch was where Marley curled up next to my feet when I was pregnant and suffering from insomnia. I fed him cheerios at 2am and when he’d had his fill he’d spin three times and fall to rest on my legs.

I sat on the couch with our son the night we brought him home, posing for a picture, my eyes puffy and unslept, emanating the wild experience of first-time motherhood.

I screamed into its pillows the night my breasts were painful and swollen with milk I didn’t know at that time how to feed my baby, my anguish matched only by that of my child who lay hungry in his cot.

We nestled in to its pillows to share ice cream and watch Netflix, scroll our phones and talk about new ideas or simply how exhausting the day had been. It was where we told Ashley he’d be a big brother, his gapped grin unknowing of what the next months would hold.

On the couch I nursed Luna for hours while watching Moana. And then, we moved to Australia. The tenants who took up our lease bought the blue couch from us, and it was gone.

In ten days, we move back to the house we had before we left. We rounded the corner and saw the couch by the side of the road, the tenants are moving on and didn’t have any buyers. My heart sank and raw emotion took hold.

The couch offered so much joy and so much regret. Regret that we’d left on that journey in the first place, guilt for having put our family through so much unnecessary upheaval. Seeing the couch in the sun by the side of the road sparked so much intense emotion inside of me, I cry as I write this.

It just all came out, and I sit here with the feeling of regret that for now seems to overshadow the beautiful memories I held there. The memories of the first time our son slept on my chest as I lay back, somewhat uncomfortable but bursting with an unusual mixture of love and fatigue.

That silly old thing, the tattered couch in my favorite robins egg blue, is waiting for its next taker. Gone are the scratches I gave Marley as I snuggled into his fur before bed, the cereal and spilled milk, the streaks of crayon from a naughty toddler testing limits. At one point, I considered it the couch I’d tell our kids about as they lay across it and take in the stories it held. For now, though, it’s gone, and to anyone else, it’s just a couch.

@loveandwater

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