“I have an interested buyer for your home. Can he come look at your house?”
It shouldn’t have surprised me, our decision to move. We’d been discussing different opportunities for over five years. But when it actually happened, I was unprepared for the intensity of the experience and the deluge of emotion that threatened to overwhelm me. And as I traveled down the road, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to survive it in one piece.
My family had been living in a warm, close-knit, out-of-town community for years. On many occasions, my husband lamented that he missed the feeling of living in a big, vibrant city, like the place he’d grown up, and expressed his desire to move. In addition, his job was beginning to wear him down. He was working with a group of educators and disagreed strongly with some of their educational methods, which was greatly affecting his job satisfaction.
I resisted the notion of moving for years. I was happy and fulfilled where we were. I was a very involved part of the community. People valued and respected me, and I couldn’t imagine going somewhere and feeling anonymous. Our children were doing well in their respective schools. We owned a beautiful home overlooking a stunning lake.
At the same time, I understood that my husband’s unhappiness and dissatisfaction at work were affecting the family dynamic in a number of ways. I realized that at some point we might have to pick up and move.
Eventually, I begrudgingly agreed to look into some opportunities in other cities. I wanted to find the perfect community and home before we sold our present home, whereas my husband thought we should first sell our home so we’d know what we had to work with financially.
One day out of the blue, my husband’s good friend, a local real estate agent, called. “I have an interested buyer for your home. Can he come look at your house?”
I had no idea how he knew we were considering a move, but I stammered a reply.
The prospective buyer came first by himself, and then a second time with his wife, and then a third time with his parents. At that point, I knew they were serious. They were living nearby and loved the feel of our close-knit community. The house suited them, and they really wanted to buy it.
We decided to ask for a slightly higher price than what we’d originally thought we could get and to use that as the deciding factor as to whether we’d go through with the sale. Surprisingly, they agreed to our price without negotiation.
At that point, I told my husband, “You know I don’t want to do this. But if we’ll eventually sell in any case, this makes the most sense. The buyer is frum, someone we know and trust, he’s offering us what we want, which we thought we’d never get, and the payment plan is extremely attractive.”
We sat down to discuss the details and gave a verbal agreement to the sale. We still hadn’t written a formal contract yet. We agreed to consider a sale date for a few months ahead. We had to realistically give ourselves enough time to find a new home in a new community. And my husband had a number of job possibilities he needed to pursue.
At the same time this was happening, we received an almost unheard-of offer. My grandmother, who lives in Eretz Yisrael, wanted to invite our family for Succos. Despite the distance, our extended family is quite close. One of my aunts was making a wedding right after Yom Tov, and my grandmother was hoping we’d be able to participate. When she first expressed the idea, we laughed and thought it could never happen. We didn’t think we could make it work financially. In addition, my husband didn’t want to leave for an extended period when he needed to be looking for a new job.
But when my husband realized how much this trip meant to me, he agreed and gave me the job of ironing out the myriad details. With tremendous chasdei Hashem, all the financial aspects fell into place, and we bought tickets a mere two weeks before Succos. Being able to go on this trip felt like a gift from Hashem and helped carry me through the stress of our impending move.
To be continued ...
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 678)
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