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Victoria’s Diary: The emotional toll of moving

Me, in the middle, surrounded by my cousins. 

Moving is hell, but with all that is going on in the world between the insurrection of our nation’s Capitol, the ongoing impeachment of our president, and the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel guilty complaining about moving. 

But now I know why my late husband Stu said he’d do anything if I didn’t make him move after our marriage. I knew he was smart, but his wisdom was unmatched!

Fast forward to today, I always say “everything has its time” and I decided that living alone in a big house, after my children moved out, was too much for me. 

It’s not the physical part of the move that’s been challenging — there’s been a lot of finger-guiding to the movers — but rather the emotional impact. I never realized how sentimental I am or that it would be so emotionally difficult separating from my home, my belongings and the life I had living there. 

I took a trip down memory lane looking through the dozens of photo albums that me, my mom and Stu’s children had collected. There were photos from the time my mom was pregnant with me, to photos of my childhood of my days as a Girl Scout and my mom being all dressed up as the leader in her uniform. 

My mom as a bride.

I was in awe looking back at my history. Going through the photos and seeing so many loved ones who have since passed away has had a deep impact on my heart. 

Life is a series of passages and this is mine. Moving to a smaller, more compact space meant leaving behind so many objects of memories, including my late husband Stu’s diplomas from Jamaica High School, Dartmouth College and Syracuse University Medical School and his hospital specialty certificates.

I like to remember the good days of traveling with my fiancé Nat and my husband Stu around the world. There before me, tucked away in drawer after drawer and multiple closets, were photo albums filled with memories of the many trips we took together.

My fiancé Nat Bassen and I traveled to Hong Kong and the French Riviera.

Then there were the collectible works of art and objects we bought along the way, including ancient statuettes from Burma and China and my favorite photo of Stu and I on an elephant in Thailand. Every time I look at it, I smile as I am reminded of Stu proudly sitting in the “mahouts” position, behind the elephant’s ears, as I sat terrified in my closed-in seat perched high above the ground. When we were in a convoy of elephants and I dropped my water bottle, our mahout told the elephant to pick it up and sure enough, when we arrived at the steps of the palace, the elephant had picked it up off the ground and it was handed to me! 

One of my favorite memories is riding an elephant with Stu in Thailand.

I also found a photo album that contains pictures of the lodge I stayed at while on a safari in South Africa. Then there were piles of letters and cards from my children and my husbands and almost-husband Nat. How do I part with these cherished items? 

My kids got me an electronic photo album and photos will be streamed in my new home, but thousands don’t easily transcribe!

Traveling to see the Pope at the Vatican with Claire Shulman.

To my amazement, I found years’ worth of diaries from my college days that I had written. I guess even before going into the news business, I liked to keep a diary, something I still enjoy doing and sharing with you to this day.

The moving men from Men on the Move arrived promptly at 8:30 a.m. to begin packing, but I wasn’t ready! 

And after a long day of going through my “things,” I sobbed as I pulled away from what was my home for 18 years. 

I know at one point the boxes delivered to my new home will be emptied and my extraordinary daughter Samantha is helping me “cleanse” my closets. She laughingly said, “If you did this before the move, you would have spent $1,000 less in moving costs!” 

But I couldn’t face making so many decisions alone. Just having her help me say “yes” or “no” made it so much easier. 

‘A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY’

I was so sad that I cried for me, my children and my country as I watched an angry mob surge into our glorious, majestic and historic Capitol building.

My hope is that the calm voice of reason that President-elect Joe Biden is exuding will lead us all out of the hell of COVID-19 and slowly calm the rage and fury of President Trump’s supporters. 

I’m an optimist, so I believe 2021 will be a better year for all of us.

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