Despite being the colors of the Brazilian flag, it wasn’t the best color choice for a home. After a few weeks of visiting homes with a realtor friend, Ricardo, my husband at the time, I was about to give up on finding a house to buy. We hadn’t liked any of the places until we arrived at the yellow house in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. On the scheduled day, we put the address 834 Darby Paoli Rd in the GPS and went to find our realtor friend. We didn’t fall in love with the house right away, but we thought about it, and two days later, we made an offer, which was accepted. That was my first impression of the house we bought in 2015, where we lived for six of our eight years in the United States.
It’s time to move. We moved in three or four trips with a small truck we rented, a Uhaul. We took apart what had to be taken apart, packed what had to be filled, and loaded the truck. We were exhausted, grumpy, but happy. It was as if this new phase in the United States began in earnest from that moment on with the new house.
My life is full of good memories and some of the best I’ve lived in 834. At this address, we created our family memories, and now I realize that at that time, we were fulfilling our dream of being a happy family like any other. In the six years we’ve lived in this house, we’ve spent more time laughing than sad.
The first years were of renovations. We broke walls, changed colors, filled the house with pictures, and, literally, with joy. From 2015 to 2019, we lived an almost magical time; we were happy. Of course, we had problems, dear ones. It would be best if you didn’t think that our lives were a bed of roses. I remember a college friend I met on Instagram commenting in one of the photos that my life looked like a modern fairy tale with a love story between two men. Love yes, fairy tale no.
We live a good part of our love story in this house, but our story started in 2008. We were two guys who met on a gay site to live a great love. One Friday in August 2008, I joined the gay dating site to delete it because I had been there for months and no one interesting had turned up. Before deleting my account, I saw Ricardo’s profile and sent a message. The answer came quickly, and I cheered. We continued typing for some time that night. On Sunday, August 31, we arranged to meet at a bakery in São Paulo in the Ibirapuera neighborhood. As soon as I arrived, I saw him sitting there with his cheeks red with nervousness. I introduced myself, talked a little, and decided to go to the movies. I don’t even remember the film because we weren’t there to watch anything. We had our first kiss in those armchairs in one of the Frei Caneca shopping mall movie theaters. From there, we went to the building he lived in the neighborhood of Santa Cecilia. At the building door, I asked Ricardo if he wanted to date me before going up. He said yes, right the way. It is one of the most beautiful memories I have.
We arrived in the United States on August 1, 2013. Ricardo, I, and our two dogs, Magali and Eugênio, lived in a rented house in Malvern, Pennsylvania, for the first two years. It is one of many small towns that are part of the chic suburbs in the greater Philadelphia area, the region’s largest city.
After eight years of living in the USA, Ricardo passed away in a tragic accident in our backyard on March 26th of, 2021. Magali and Eugênio had passed years before, and in 2020 Ricardo had adopted two other dogs, Bob and Ruby.
On December 31st, 2021, I left the house to live in Northeast Philadelphia with the dogs. I took only the good memories from that house, and now I’m living a fresh new start in my life.
The big lesson I have from all of this is simple: love is the only thing that matters in the end. ♥️