Last week, I closed on the refinancing of my home. (Feel free to applaud. Finances are not my forte.)
I remembered nine years prior, when Robb and I sat at a similar table, signing our lives away.
We were brand new transplants to Colorado, we had made about $250 on the sale of our first home in Ohio, and we were so excited to get the keys to the home we loved.
We got our keys that day, and we went straight to this empty home of ours, to walk through the echoing rooms and imagine the life we would bring to it.
The rooms we would paint and decorate again and again.
The home where we would bring our baby home. And then another baby. The flower bed for the petunias.
The sprawling deck for evening dinner parties. We imagined great things.
As we left, I said, “Should we lock this door to the garage? Because I think they like to keep it locked.”
With a smile, Robb said, “Hey, babe? It’s our house now. We get to decide.”
Oh, right. It’s our house now. Man, I loved that day.
At that closing appointment, they ask you to sign four thousand pages, promise your firstborn child if you cannot follow through in paying back the loan, and promise to be faithful in all things homeowning, including live in the house and bring in your trash cans.
Deal. It was really very simple, until the very end.
The last four pages were our last four tax returns. We always e-filed, so there was no signature on the electronic forms.
“Ma’am, could you sign here and here and here?”
I was called upon to sign where Robb’s name belonged, next to his printed job title.
Underneath my signature, I read the printed words: Surviving Spouse.
I barely made it out of the office. I cried in the parking lot, gasping for air.
These are the blows that bring me to my knees. In every sense of the phrase.