Mary-Margaret Sweeney

Mary-Margaret Sweeney

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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Now it is Later

I had a dentist appointment yesterday, in my old neighborhood of Edgewater. I don’t have occasion to visit it much, so I made a point to arrive early, and walk past my old building.

Peering into that wrought-iron gate was strange. I did a lot of hurting and healing in there. It was the first home I owned. I brought my dog home here when I adopted him. I prepared for a wedding, and then hid during a divorce. I cried a lot. It was on that back right window where I sat and stared down at this court yard all night when I learned my mother had died. It was to this home I returned the night of her burial; my world changed. And then a few weeks after that, on the back porch, I asked the love of my life to marry me.

12 weeks later, we stood in the court yard, on the way to our wedding.

And after five years of hearing the red and purple lines clamor past my little slice of the city,

we packed it all up. For more space, for a safter neighborhood. For the next step.

I have been doing a lot of hurting and healing lately. I have friends right now struggling with great stress and pain: the death of a spouse, another with a bad breakup, some with money troubles, and one saying goodbye to a dying dog. It feels heavy. I received my own bit of heartbreaking, though not devastating news, yesterday. And as I come to terms with what it may mean for me, and for P, I think about that small home I had by the train tracks. I think of all that those walls held for me. Books shoved into window sills when we ran out of shelf space and had no room to put another shelf. A storage unit in the basement full of things we were saving for “later,” when we had more space. Later is now. We have a guest room. We have a den. We have a living and dining space. Two bathrooms. And luckily, as I traverse new grief and new joys in “later,” I find that the love that seemed to fill my old home to the bursting point did not dissipate when it had more room to flow. It only grew.

By Mary-Margaret Sweeney

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