05/27/2008 04:58 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Getting Back Home: An Update

Several months ago, I wrote here about the possibility of my being able to buy back the home that I had to sell due to a divorce agreement. Presently, though, there is one particular roadblock hindering me from making the transfer: namely, it's a buyer's market, which is making it difficult to sell my present house.

My initial post was to be the springboard for a memoir based on the stunning turn of events. From October to about mid-March, I worked on this memoir while living with the uncertainty of how it would end, but about 100 pages in, the memoir came to a standstill. The reasons vary, but the one that took precedence was my eighty-two year old mother and the surgery she required. For almost fifty-eight years, she lived in the tiny town where I was raised, which is close to 400 miles away from where I now live. However, unlike my Mom, with my sights on sidewalks and high-rises, I never considered the rural area home. Yet, it was home to my mother until she died a month after the surgery, never having gotten out of ICU. Writing my memoir was suddenly replaced with helping my siblings string together words for an obituary in honor of our mother. Imagine watering down one woman's life in a few words -- not an easy task to do, although one cousin of mine aptly stated, "She was an unaffected country woman."

My Mom knew that I was in the midst of buying back the house in which I'd raised my children, having turned an old, drafty house into a warm, welcoming home. She wasn't quite sure what to make of it. After all, it was a rather big house -- in her mind, too big for a divorced woman. Still, I think I managed to convince her how important it was for me to get back into it. Whenever we'd speak, she'd ask how things were going. If she were still alive, I'd call her up and tell her the latest confounding happening. "Mom," I'd say, "I'm getting back the dogs." She'd know I'd be referring to Scout, my cocker spaniel, and Shiloh, the hyperactive beagle that always made us laugh. When I sold the house, I had to find a home for my two dogs since I was moving to an apartment that didn't allow animals. I was worried that Scout and Shiloh would have to be separated and considered the idea tragic. After all, my family and I adopted them as puppies on the very same day and they were together ever since. How could I find someone willing to take two seven-year-old dogs? Fortunately, I have a very good friend whose parents love animals. When they heard my dilemma, they offered to take the dogs into their home. I felt I won the lottery, even though the day I had to drive them to their new home and hand them over, I was an emotional mess. Still, I bucked up and did what I needed to do, as painful as it was.

Now, as excited as we have been about moving back to our home, my daughters and I discussed how wonderful it would be to bring Scout and Shiloh with us. But after all this time, how could I uproot them again? How selfish would that be? It's why I didn't ask for them back when I bought my present house a couple years ago. I hadn't visited Scout and Shiloh for some time for a number of reasons. I knew that they were extremely well cared for and loved. Still, whenever I did visit, it pained me to see them and not be able to take them back. I believed they had acclimated to their new surroundings and didn't want to cause further upheaval in their lives. Besides, I wasn't comfortable intruding on this family any more than I had. Therefore, it was going to be bittersweet going back home without Scout and Shiloh. But amazingly, serendipity once again stepped in.

As it happens, my friend, whose parents rescued the dogs from what could have been a devastating outcome, was in town from Boston for Memorial weekend. We got together for some drinks so we could catch up. I asked her how Scout and Shiloh were doing and she said they were fine. "Getting old, but they are fine," she said. I detected hesitancy in her voice, but didn't press her, my guilt holding me back. Then I shared my news. She was stunned to hear about my intention to buy back the house, especially since she knew how difficult it was for me to give it up. That's when she became more forthcoming and said that Scout and Shiloh seemed depressed. Usually spirited, they remained distant, but no one wanted to let me know since the situation would only frustrate me. That's when my friend said that for some time her family felt the dogs needed to be back with my daughters and me. It was my news that finally gave a voice to the desirous suggestion and Scout and Shiloh will be coming home!

Everything has fallen into place except my ability to sell my present house in this buyer's market glut. It seems every other house in my area is for sale, which means I may not be moving for a while. The thing is, Scout and Shiloh are almost twelve years old and I am eager to bring them back home where they can live out the rest of their lives. It's doubtful they know the meaning of divorce, but I have work to do to let them know I never purposely abandoned them.

Possibly, my memoir won't have a conclusion for quite some time; still no one can believe the second chance I'm getting. I mean, who buys back their old home where divorce has caused so much destruction? I suppose someone trying to make right to what had been so wrong. It makes me smile to think how my Mom would certainly shake her head in wonder at what's emerged thus far.