Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The End of an Era
This is the house I grew up in. This is where my Dad still lives, for now. We have just put it on the market, which I am totally fine with. Or was, until I drove by and saw the "For Sale" sign in the front yard. I actually broke down and cried, almost having to pull over because I couldn't see through my tears. Seeing that sign meant the end of an era in my life - this house represents so much of me, the me that made me who I am today. It is the place where I was born, the place I laughed in, loved in, fought in, cried in, puked in, played in, swam in the pool, sang in, opened birthday and Christmas gifts in, posed for countless pictures in, healed a broken heart in, enjoyed family get togethers in, I could go on for hours....
I am usually the strong one in my family, out of the girls anyway. I try to use logic over emotion whenever possible. I think I must have learned that from my husband, because I used to be more emotional than I am now. So I was surprised by my immediate reaction to seeing the For Sale sign.
Last week we had to finish cleaning out the house so it could be shown, and I found my dolls that I used to play with. I couldn't bring myself to throw them away, even though they look like they were in a dirty basement for 25+ years (they were technically on the front porch in a rubbermaid bucket, but the result was the same!). Seeing those dolls, remembering the hours and hours I played with them in that house, brought on such a strong feeling of nostalgia, making me wish that life was still as simple as it was for me when I was living there, playing with my dolls, eating dinner at 5:10 p.m. (on the dot, after Dad got home from work) sitting across from my sisters and brother and Mom and Dad. I knew I was loved, protected and safe. There were no bills to worry about paying, no sick parents to worry about, etc. It brought about the realization that I am officially a "grown up", with my own house, my own family, creating new memories for my son. I am still loved, protected and safe, and my husband is the one who worries about paying the bills, but it's just different.
It's a hard thing to face - I still want to be the little sister who everyone watches opening up Christmas presents, and I want to be that little girl who used to climb up on my Dad's lap and hear him tell everyone that I'm his "baby". I am still the baby of the family and that will never change, but my role has changed significantly. And that is because of the years I spent growing, learning and watching my family as we lived together in this house, our home. But the one realization that is most important is that it was not the house that made me who I am, but those who lived in the house with me. I am who I am, because of them.
So, pray for a quick sale...and most of all have a wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving. I know I have a lot to be thankful for.