My mom turned 92 last Friday, April 10. She no longer lives in the home she and my dad bought in 1950. It was the first and only home they ever owned. Prior to that they were renters.
I was 13 in 1950 when the house was finished and we moved in. Although I only lived there for a few years, it has remained home to me. Moving around as I have, from state to state, country to country, it was always very reassuring to me that home was stationary. It was always in the very same spot even though I was not.
Home was the place I took my three children to every summer of their lives as they were growing up. We usually spent two to three weeks at my mom and dad's home. Now that home is going to be sold. With my mom living with one of my sisters and her husband, in a very nice addition they added to their home, my mother's house is empty.
Members of our family have been hard at work preparing a home that was lived in by our family for almost 59 years. It was extremely hard for me to think of it not being ours any longer. It was so bad that I was seriously contemplating buying it.
This house was home. Whenever I was going up there I told people I was going home. It was the steady spot in my life, a life which sometimes seemed like an endless voyage from one place to another. It gave me a feeling of permanence and stability. It was a place to take my children to give them a sense of roots and family.
As you can imagine many things needed to be done prior to putting the house on the market. Hardwoods throughout had to be refinished but first the old wall to wall carpeting had to be removed. Walls, ceilings, and all the trim needed painting in each and every room. The changes were significant.
Last weekend one of my sons and his family took me up to party with my mom on her birthday. I saw our home.
It was the best thing that could have happened to me. It did not feel the same. Our furniture was gone, the colors we had picked out for the walls were now covered up by linen white, and no one is living there any longer. Closets were emptied of all my mom's clothes, the linen closet no longer held our bed linens and towels, games and photographs have found other places to live, and the refrigerator was unplugged with doors flung wide open waiting for someone else to come along to fill it up.
As I walked through the empty rooms and saw the changes I finally realized that I now carry home around in my heart...it is no longer at 291 Island View Road.
I said good-bye.