Empty Houses Samantha and the kids were on a plane to Texas and I was at our California home, finishing up the cleaning out process of moving. At one time, I think I would have had probably 50 people helping us move and clean out our home that we loved. Now, after the fall, and after the dust was still trying to settle, it was just me. I had lost all our friends and staff due to my failure and it had been a long few days with movers, deep contemplation, overwhelming depression and a weight of uncertainty I’ve not ever felt in my entire life. Finally, after I had removed all the debris from the home and it was just an empty shell, I experienced one of the darkest moments I’ve ever experienced. We had lived in that home since my middle child was born. She was now 4 and my youngest was 5 weeks old. As I walked through the house, it all began to hit me like a ton of bricks. Life as I knew it was completely over and so many memories of my family began to overtake me emotionally. Memories of so much happiness with my kids and seeing them grow and experience life…my oldest learning to walk, my middle child getting baths in the sink when she was soo small. Sleepless nights of cholic, party after party with our friends and staff; all of it a distant memory overshadowed with regret due to my failure. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such pain before in my life than that moment. It’s one of the most present feelings I can go back to at any moment I choose. I think I had to make myself go numb out of sheer self protection as I would have to start the drive to Texas in just a few moments. I simply couldn’t feel all that there was to feel. I didn’t have the capacity. If I did, I don’t think I would have ever stopped crying to leave for Texas. We had no hope and we had very little support system. The uncertainty of life was immense, but yet we eventually chose to go forward. I think if I’m being honest, in recovery, the sheer willingness to not quit is moving forward. Now, 7 years later, I sit in our Texas home, far greater in size, stature and freedom than our previous homes. It has more space, beauty and signs of emotional restoration than I could ever imagine when I left California that day. Restoration is just like that. We don’t want restoration to what once was. After all, what once was created the opportunity for the failure in the first place. We want restoration to what we can’t even see or fathom. A restored place of hope, strength, joy and unforeseen beauty that will be both rewarding and fulfilling for all parties involved. It’s possible. Sure it’s messy. Sure it’s tough and an absolute emotional grind some days. But what is in fact possible and available, is more than worth it.