Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Good Morning, Myrna Loy. Goodbye Dear House. Hello New Home.

Myrna Loy and William Powell

Once again, I reach the anniversary of Myrna Loy's birth date.  As you know if you've been reading this for a while, I adore Myrna Loy.  Not only did she star in one of the greatest movies of all time, in my humble opinion, The Best Years of Our Lives, she starred in one of my favorite movie series to-date, The Thin Man series, but she and I share some things in common, so I've always felt drawn to her.  So, today, lovely Myrna, I will tip a glass to you and watch one or two of my favorites from your extensive body of work, and I will ask that you, in your turn, check in and say hello to the new residents of wherever it is that you are:  heaven or simply the cosmos somewhere, because, unfortunately, once more this has been a year that has seen the loss of good people too soon.

But there is reason to hope for a brighter year to come.  For me, personally, the biggest accomplishment to celebrate on this occasion is the fact that we are no longer encumbered by a home in Texas.  As of yesterday, that obligation belongs to someone else.  I am both overjoyed by that and a little sad.  I am overjoyed that we no longer have to pay two sets of bills and can maybe begin a long road back to some semblance of financial stability.  But, of course, we did a lot of living in that house, good and bad, and so the emotions are a little more complex than that.  And, despite it becoming the symbol of our great failure to save our daughter, it was not the house that did all that, it just sat as silent witness to the tragedy that unfolded within its walls and therefore, somewhere along the way, became the temple from which our unhappiness grew.  I hope, for the new owners' sakes, that the aura of all of that time was washed away in the gallons of new paint and varnish.  I hope it shelters them well and they have a happy life there.   Hard to say, as hard times befall us all at some point.  But, one can hope.

I think back to the days when we first moved in, and how amazing the house seemed, and how optimistic we were about our lives there.  That first summer, the kids still young and fascinated by having a big house with a pool, was magical.  I remember coming down the stairs our first night there, and noticing that Greg's brother had turned the light on in the pool and seeing that inviting body of water (still too cold too actually swim in at that point in the year) and feeling so amazingly fortunate to be there.  I remember, not long after we moved in, Kelsey asking me if I were to get rich whether I would still want to live in that house.  I said without hesitation that I would, and she seemed to be satisfied with that answer.   I remember the first time a deer came up to me and ate from my hand.  I remember watching the Steelers beat all odds and become Super Bowl champions again, not once, but twice, from that living room.  I remember family gatherings on Memorial Day where all the Veldman kids were together and laughing.   It's the moments like those that I feel emotional about.  But those moments I packed away and brought with me.  They are in my heart.  And my heart is here, in Pittsburgh.  Where it belongs.

Preparing for Super Bowl XLIII
And so we begin anew, my little family and me.  For better, maybe for worse.  But here is where we take our stand, and here is where I will always stay.  And, I greet this day with the knowledge that we are getting ready for some football!  For, if anything, Myrna Loy's birthday is the gateway to the end of the summer offseason and the beginning of the football preseason, now post-lockout, and can the real season be far behind?  No, boys and girls, it cannot.  So, on this very momentous of days, I will celebrate not only Myrna Loy's life, but that fact as well, and I will be grateful I saw the dark days of July through to their end.  I will not be mournful of what could have been in the house I leave behind.  I am going to try and make new and treasured memories in the one I have here (tiny kitchen and all).  I am going to make this home.

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