January has been a difficult month so far, not the fresh start to a new year that I had hoped for. In the comfort of our old home a new house in a new city sounded exciting, but the reality of packing up everything that Terry and I had ever shared, unpacking it and moving into a home that Terry will never share with me combined with the regular stress that moving creates has been overwhelming. Every day of 2015 has been really difficult, I’m afraid. Every item that I packed and unpacked brought back such wonderful, happy memories and I found myself crying into boxes of happy memories and wishing so badly that Terry could come with me to make new ones. Those memories are all I have left of our happy life together and they are just not enough for me right now. In my old life, I would wind myself up and Terry would talk me down, reminding me that everything would be fine so long as we had each other. But now that I don’t have him changes don’t seem exciting. Nothing is exciting anymore and everything is sad. No matter how many highs I have in a day there are such terrible, terrible lows.
Although it has been difficult I have successfully moved into a new house close to school. My housemates are lovely and the two bunnies that I was so scared that Ninja would eat scare the living daylights out of him. Yes, my cat runs from fluffy bunnies in terror. In spite of this, Ninja has settled in well and enjoyed his first foray into the outside world in our new home today. I have unpacked most all of my belongings, changed the address on and received my new drivers license and changed all of my accounts to the new house. Every change that I make feels like one step farther away from Terry and our life together and each and every change breaks my already shattered heart.
While moving some of Terry’s things into the closet I found our Debt-O-Meter and I was reminded to call the one remaining unpaid credit card to discuss the remaining balance of £4991. They were lovely on the phone and have decided not to pursue the balance of the account due to the lack of estate which means that I am officially credit card debt free. Terry and I had hoped to be credit card debt free by April of this year and yet it’s only January and all of the credit card debt that we had gotten ourselves into is gone. It has taken us only 8 months to pay off nearly £10,000 in credit card debt. I struggle to put into words how devastating it is to reach our much sought after goal on my own only as a result of Terry’s death. When I got off of the phone I couldn’t stop crying and I think it’s relief that the debt has been written off, but more than that it’s bitter disappointment that this goal that Terry and I spent hours dreaming of is here and that Terry is not here to share it with. To celebrate being credit card debt free, Terry and I had planned a weekend at The Old Parsonage hotel in Oxford complete with a dinner out at his favourite restaurant, Browns, and champagne, paying cash for the whole weekend. We used to spend so much time dreaming of that weekend and how it would feel to have worked so hard for and achieved our dream. We would have a weekend celebration of this smaller debt free milestone before being completely debt free in March 2017 – and we had big plans to celebrate that milestone as well. We always smiled when we talked about that weekend and were so excited as we paid off our debts month by month.
Terry and I dreamt that being debt free would feel liberating, that we could finally do what we wanted with our money without owing any of it to anyone. We dreamt that being debt free would enable our dreams of saving up for a house and being able to provide a good foundation for the family that we wanted to have together. As I sit here alone in my house, being credit card debt free feels very sad. I am so bitterly disappointed. I am disappointed that I don’t feel like celebrating and that the one person I want to celebrate with is gone. I am disappointed that we will never have our debt free weekend in Oxford and that instead this weekend will be spent finishing settling in to my new house.
I still dream of being debt free one day and perhaps as I build a new life for myself I can make a new plan for celebrating being debt free. Perhaps in the years that it will take me to pay off my debts I will find happiness once again and I will be able to celebrate that milestone for the accomplishment that it is. That is what I hope, but deep down I know that I will always wish that I was celebrating with Terry.