We’re changing addresses and attitudes

I love my little corner of the Internet.

I love that even though I haven’t posted in … let’s see … drop the 6, carry the 1 … HOLY SHIT CHECK THE EDGE OF THE EARTH, SHE PROBABLY FELL OFF, people still pop in here to see if I’ve done anything to embarrass my kids (see below), named any cold sores lately (there was Margo – I kicked her ass last November, but not before she kicked my lips’ ass for a few weeks before that) and whether I’ve managed yet to sculpt a reasonable facsimile of Mt. Vesuvius out of Ollie’s poop (a few more deposits behind the couch and I should be good to go).

Let’s see … what’s been going on?

Zoe has been accepted to five out of seven colleges so far, including Geneseo. I think Geneseo wanted her because of my essay. Zoe thinks they wanted her because of her grades, leadership potential, blah blah freaking blah. Way to make it all about YOU, Zoe.

We put our house up for sale. I think God decided to stop using my life as an enema bag for a bit and give me a break because within 48 hours, I had four offers. All four were non-contingent, two were all cash and one was above purchase price, accompanied by a letter and family photo. I stared at that photo and studied their faces and the toothy smile of their little girl and as I signed on the bottom line through a stream of tears, I hoped my home would bring them more happiness than it ever did us.

We move this weekend. At first, it was hard to think about leaving a large, beautiful home that had my heart and soul plastered all over it and through it for a small, nondescript, bland apartment but now? I think we might be a bit excited. It may be small, but this apartment will be a fresh, new start for the girls and me. No bitter memories slapping us with a harsh reality everywhere we turn. I’d like to believe that new memories are just waiting around some tight-fitting corners for us to discover.

I ran into my eleven year old’s hottie teacher at Target the other day. This would be the same hottie teacher we ran into while bra shopping for her, when she spent the following week hoping the earth would open up and swallow her whole. I texted her all about my new run-in because that’s the kind of mom I am:

Life these past few months has been challenging. The loss of my husband has been agonizing enough but the loss of those so dear to me who, for whatever reason, could not find it within themselves to stand behind us with both feet planted firmly on the ground has compounded that agony. The loss has just been unfathomable. But you know that saying about God never closing a door without opening a window? Never have I believed in that as much as I do now.

Open windows have come in the form of a good job with a boss who is a trusted friend and confidante.

A friend, to whom I was married in a former life, who finished unfinished bathrooms and without whom I could not have sold our house.

An entire family who opened up their home to the three of us and became a safe haven for Helena, as well as a reminder that family isn’t always defined by blood.

Lifelong friends who call like clockwork, checking up on me and buying me greasy potato skins because nothing soothes a wounded soul like fat and cholesterol.

Friends of my eldest who spent hours filling up trucks and finding willing dumpsters.

Another friend who tirelessly but beautifully staged my house so that it sold within days instead of months.

Friends who drove over to my house with three seconds of notice, bringing with them broad, water-proof shoulders.

Others who offered to sit with me at court or, in the alternative, text me during the entire time and make me laugh so that I forgot the awfulness all around me.

A lawyer who texts me late on a Saturday night after a particularly hideous and scary day, without charging me for it.

Online friends who prove that the Internet isn’t so vast and impersonal after all.

And still other friends who find you after thirty years and help you haul fifteen years of crap out your basement without expecting anything in return.

In this big cyclone of shit that has been swirling around us since last summer, I have found rays of light poking through.

I’m still scared of this new life. But somewhere in the back of my mind, a little to the left of Anderson Cooper’s imprint, is the knowledge that we’re going to be OK.



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55 thoughts on “We’re changing addresses and attitudes”

  1. Avatar

    hey, so good to hear you finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. You are so awesome! And I bet that bland apartment is covered with your amazingness before you know it. I’m proud that you’re being such a good example for your girls, thongs excepted 🙂 WTG Zoe, it’s such a good thing to have choices, isn’t it! Forward bravely into the new dawn ladies, a beautiful day awaits for you!

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    Well look at YOU! I’m so proud of you! You’ve walked through the fire and are coming out on the other side. The only thing that makes me sad about reading this post is that I don’t live close enough to have been a help to you when you needed it. But just know that I was thinking about you and praying for all of you, even if I couldn’t be there physically to help. There is a bright and shiny life out there waiting for you, I just know it! <3

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    So good to see you back. I have been worshipping (ahem, following) you from afar. So glad to see you still have that great sense of humor! You are an inspiration on what to do when life hands you a shit sandwich. Hope to see more posts in the near future once you are settled into your new home.

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    Andy, when my life was really messy, a very good priest friend of mine (now deceased), always said to me, “Look for the gifts.” I’ve held on to those four words at many difficult turns. You’ve made a lot of lemons into lemonade (sorry for the cliche!), which is a testiment to your personal strength and determination. You are surrounded by angels masquerading as friends, and you have God to thank for that. The Creative Junkie has landed on her feet and will continue to thrive!!

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    SO glad to see this Andy! I know it’s been hard, but hard times are when you see what people are really made of, and that’s very valuable. You have your beautiful girls and your friends and I think leaving the house behind will actually be healing. More good things are coming your way, my friend. I feel it.

    Any time you want to hop on a plane and come to Atlanta for some R&R, come on down. Bring Ollie. He and Coco would have a blast.


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    Hey, missy, don’t be scared. Well, okay. Be a little scared cause that keeps you sharp. (Oh, hello again! I’m one of your local, but still internet buds, who’s been following your posts since a mutual friend of ours pointed me in your direction.) Hang on TIGHT to all of your friends – flesh-and-blood and your online fan base, and by the way? Before you walk out the door of your “former house” – do a spiritual cleansing with White Sage – Ask around. Someone you know will be able to tell you how this works…or email me privately, and I’ll fill you in. And, before you officially settle in to your darling, new apartment? White sage that too. You are SO going to be stellar! You always have been…and, one last thing. Just so you know this too: your gift to the world is your writing. Never, never stop.

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    I’m glad you’ve had more support than not. Horrible situations tend to sort out those who really give a rat’s ass and those who don’t. I’m glad things are starting to come out on the other side for you and the girls.

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    I’m glad the house selling went well and you are keeping your sense of humor. Congrats to Zoe for getting so many choices for college. I hope the road ahead smooths out for you in the coming weeks and months. It sounds like it is getting there.

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    Wow am I proud to say I know 3 AMAZING women! Zoe, Helena and you are honestly handling this with grace and strength. I look up to you girl! Hoping that I can handle my own circumstances with my home the way you have with yours.. You’ll see me in your stats a lot coming back to read and re-read this post! Love you! CALL me kiddo!

  10. Avatar

    Was so glad to wake up to a new post from you! Was even more happy to read about how you and your girls have walked up the inside of the volcano and now see the sky. Hope to hear from you more often, again, and look forward to hearing about your non-descript apartment and more child embarrassment.

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    Glad to see you posting again Andy, I have been keeping tabs on how you are doing on Facebook as well and can see your progress in healing. It is a crappy road to go down and I have been through it as well. You have a great support group around you and know that your internet friends who followed you long before last summer are here for you too! xxoo

  12. Avatar

    Congrats to you! You’ve walked through hell, kicked the devil’s ass and kept on walking. That old saying of what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger is really true. You are proof of that!
    Glad you’re back in the blogging world.

  13. Avatar

    “call back the St. Bernards, we found her.”. It is wonderful to see you come up for air, and it sounds like some very positive things have come your direction. Fantastic news for your daughter – enjoy this last little bit of high school with her, it goes by much too fast.

  14. Avatar
    Janmary, N Ireland

    I am sure I saw on Pinterest a quote – “true friends walk in when others are walking out”

    We ain’t going anywhere 🙂

    Sending virtual hugs and real prayers across the ocean!

  15. Avatar

    Andy – I’m so glad to see that you are finding the light at the end of the tunnel. I wish you all the best in your new life with the girls. Hugs!

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    Ive been reading for a long time..though i think this is the first time ive commented…i just wanted you to know that Im happy for you. I hope this new move will be what you and the girls need to keep moving forward. I know how hard it can be when something so devastating happens. Wish you all the best and hope to hear from you more often!! I miss reading your blog! Good luck to Zoe in college!!

  17. Avatar

    Andy, so glad to see this post. You know you have been in my thoughts and prayers, and if I didn’t live 3000+ miles away I would have been right there to help, dragging boxes and trash, taking you out for potato skins, or whatever else you needed! Instead, I was here, sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. This new apartment will be a blessing for your family, and will be an excellent new start for you. I will be thinking of you hauling your boxes this weekend, as I am hauling mine!

  18. Avatar

    It’s always great to find a happy place after divorce. This June will mark 2 years since I left my assbag husband in the dust and life only got better for me. I started my awesome job, got my own apartment less than a year later, and I just bought my first new car, all without him, it slays him that I’m doing so well without him.

    Best wishes to you and the girls!

  19. Avatar

    I have been through a similar experience and totally understand what you went through, are going through, and will go through as you open a new chapter in your life. My life today is rich and full and would not have happened had I stayed in a bad relationship. There is hope!

  20. Avatar

    *Hugs* to you and your girls from a total (but not creepy) stranger. I’ve read your blog for the last couple years and laughed till my belly hurt. I’ve missed you while you’ve been struggling, and have sent my warmest mojo to your family in dealing with this upheaval. I’m so that glad that you are surrounded by real live human beings that can actually do something to love and support you guys.

  21. Avatar

    And now, a note from a man. I admire your courage, and when I was going through my own divorce and had the emotional depth of a cookie sheet, nothing anyone could say would ease the hurt. Platitudes suck. Showing up, as so many have done for your family, is what counts. I look forward to seeing your words regularly brighten my days again as you regain your life.

    To be honest, it’s a bit like a scavenger hunt to remember where WE end and YOU begin, and you are well on your way!


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    It’s good to see you posting again. 🙂 I’m glad you’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m still pulling for you and the girls!

  23. Avatar

    wow – the friends you have and what they have done for you say so much about what an incredible person/friend you must be! I am a stranger who loves reading your blog and I am so happy things are coming together for you!

    You rock.


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    You are a freaking ROCK STAR!!! Loving this post! I am so happy things are looking up for you. And I am beyond thrilled that your support system is STELLAR.

    Much love to you, Andy & girls! <3

  25. Avatar

    Andy, I’m so glad to read that things are improving for you. I check this blog almost everyday (what? stalker? no, not me) and send up good thoughts for you and your girls. You deserve the best.

  26. Avatar

    My friend. I wish I was in your town so that I might come to your aid as well. Also, I pray that this new home will be a place of renewal of hope and joy and all that stuff you might’ve thought you lost. I pray that sunshine will peek out of all the dark corners of your universe and that your children will see you as the awesome and strong woman we all know you are and imitate it. I mean, I only know you here on the innernets, but it is so very obvious that you are rooted deep in the ground and while the wind may whip your hair back and forth, it will not push you down. End sap.

    Also, I, too, have a painful childhood memory of my mother shouting to me through the dressing room doors on how to put on a bra whilst my gym coach stood just outside the doors. “Bend over and wiggle your boobs into the bra! Are you bending over? Are you shaking your boobs? Why are you crying?”

    I’m almost over it. *eye twitch*

  27. Avatar

    Oh, how I have missed your posts, Andy!

    And just think, you could date Mr. Brown and TOTALLY screw up Helena’s life. That would be fodder for her therapist for YEARS. Besides, isn’t it our job as parents to embarrass our kids?

    I’m sorry you had to sell a house you so loved, but just think, now you can buy a better one and make new memories. Plus the market is down and you could get a great deal.

    PS: Is it Ok for me to say that I think your ex is a major fucking tool for doing this to his family? Because he is and should be stripped of his Man Card for this shit.

  28. Avatar

    Aww, sweetie… *hugs* Little apartments are good for cocooning. I look forward to seeing that gorgeous butterfly shake her wings, and then yell some kind of obscenity just cuz that’s the kinda gal she is. *grins*

  29. Avatar

    You made a great choice on to whom to sell your house. A family (a growing one at that) will definitely take care of the place and make it more homey for the years to come.

    On another note, I guess it was your essay that swayed the people at Geneseo to accept Zoe.

  30. Avatar

    You are loved. And you and your girls are strong.

    PS. I got another email from Anderson saying they have plenty of FREE tix to his show.
    LET’S GO!!!!!

  31. Avatar

    Nice to have you back on the blog. I am one of those who checked the feed every day hoping beyond hope to see another post here! Congratulations on so many positive “firsts” – college, selling that house so awesomely, fab job…You are now ready to help others find their own way through a similar life upheaval. I’m sure you will be a ray of hope in someone else’s life soon.

    Best wishes for moving day!

  32. Avatar

    Tough days are gone. Good days have come. 🙂 I am so happy to hear good stuff coming from you. That text message is just funny. I like how you act as a good friend to your daughter. Keep it up and God bless. 🙂

  33. Avatar

    I am wishing you so much peace and happiness and also to your two girls. This was a wonderful post. You are a great writer of the truth and life. If I had been a personal friend me and my hubby would have surely come over and helped with clean out and removal as well as a move to your new home. I wish you the best and look forward to more postings. I love hearing how you are doing.

  34. Avatar

    I’m almost 2 years ahead of you on this path…. Can I just say that I was smiling to see another person who texts in complete sentences and no acronyms?? =) Humor DOES help–but so does Ben and Jerry’s with some Kleenex on the side.

  35. Avatar

    Glad that you made it through it all. Hope all will be well with you and your family. Take care and will definitely wait for your updates. God Bless!

  36. Avatar

    I’m so so glad to hear that you all are doing alright, moving forward through the very rough patches. I hope it gets easier, and that your new apartment is a haven for you all.

  37. Avatar

    Glad your online again! I don’t know how to do facebook or twitter! I’m glad things are slowly getting better! All our love to you 3! Call when you can!

  38. Avatar

    Hi Andie, so sorry you and the girls are going through all this crap.
    I haven’t visited you for such a long time, and thought I would come and see whats new.
    All my best to you and your girls.

  39. Avatar

    and so I’m following a blog…who knew that would ever happen 🙂
    …was innocently wondering around the internet and stumbled across your blog and found myself helplessly subscribing 🙂
    …and now, I guess, I am a certified stalker…

  40. Avatar

    Aren’t the boxes unpacked yet? I am having total withdrawals from not laughing. I hate to put additional pressure on you but I need a paragraph or two of funny please. Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

  41. Avatar

    Yeah it seems that all your friends and family are giving all their support to you. You guys will definitely live a great life, I wish you guys the all the best.. 🙂

  42. Avatar

    We are about to move in too. I guess by Friday we will transfer to another apartment. I hope the home will bring us luck, happiness and more love. This current home is actually a bad one compared to our previous home though there are also some good and happy moments that it brought.

  43. Avatar

    I just found your blog because of a past post about weight watchers as I just started a site about my losing weight on weight watchers. However, I found so much more with your honesty about your marriage and life. Your honesty is really inspiring to me as I too have gone through many difficulties (addiction, affairs and cancer…)and wonder what to write about and what to leave private. Anyway, I hope you are doing well now. It is a long road to healing but I hope you will find peace and joy with your girls.

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