A word of advice:
Never put a bunch of family members in a room together with the purpose of them working together to accomplish one goal.
My family came over to help transport what we needed to move out and to have a free for all with the other items that we weren’t keeping and hadn’t sold. Within 15 minutes of them being in the kitchen, trying to figure out how to take the refrigerator out, my uncles got into an argument and one of them stormed out and drove away leaving everyone behind without the keys to the U-haul. For the following 30 minutes, the rest of the family were standing around complaining about the uncle who stormed out because now they couldn’t do anything until he came back with the keys.
Me: Is the back of the truck locked?
Family: No, it’s open. We just need the keys to drive the truck.
Me: Then why isn’t anyone moving things into the back of the truck until the keys come back???
Family: Oh, that’s right.
(Later, I found out that once they packed up the truck, they didn’t close the door and later discovered that several items were missing from the truck such as suitcases, toys, irons, and other smaller things. They don’t know if the stuff fell out as they drove or someone snuck in and took what they could carry away quickly. I was so angry. How could anyone be so stupid? Trust my family to prove that it’s very possible to be that stupid.)
Once the family was gone with all that once belonged to us, MJ and I cleaned the place and helped LJ say goodbye to the only home he had ever known. We took him from room to room so he could say his goodbyes. When it came time to say goodbye to the living room then walk out the door, he refused. He didn’t want to say goodbye. He wanted to stay. He curled up his little fists and shook his head vigorously as tears streamed down his chubby cheeks. He was not leaving his house. Even though there wasn’t any furniture left and his toys were all gone, and we had already spent the previous night at the Ho Jo’s, he was staying. MJ and I picked him up as he kicked and screamed and basically dragged him out. My heart broke into a million pieces. I felt like the worst mom ever. Why was I doing this to my little boy? Why was I causing so much instability and confusion? We tried to reassure him that we would have a much better house and new wonderful toys once we got to Australia but it took a while before he settled down and stopped crying for his home. Once back at the hotel, our rules were out the door and I let him jump on the bed to his hearts content.
The next couple of days at the Ho Jo’s were solemn as we knew we now didn’t have a house and it was definite we were starting our trek from NJ to Australia. I tried to keep busy by running last minute errands but unfortunately that wasn’t enough and half the things that were listed to do on our Moving Checklist weren’t completed. But there was no looking back now, we had to get on that plane whether we were able to change addresses, or close accounts, or do whatever else we needed to do. So we got on the first flight from JFK to LAX, with tears in our eyes and hoped for the best.