In 35 days I will be moving. I don't want to go but as I do, I would like to say a few words. A few words of love to my humble home of the past 22 years:
When I first stepped through your doors I remember thinking about the thrill of owning a home. I was very pregnant and you had all the room I seemed to need. You had a beautiful yard, filled with mature trees and an abundance of wildlife. Squirrels, rabbits, birds; they all made for a slice of nature's wonderland.
I never planned to live here for this long but somehow the years have flown by faster than I could ever imagine and now as I prepare to leave you, I can't imagine how I will live anywhere else. If I could pick you up and move you closer to the city where one of my girls now lives, I would. If I could plunk you down next to my husbands office in a "closer to the city suburb", I would. And if I could do that plus give you the much needed extra room I have always dreamed of I would do that too. But I can't.
So, here I am about to say good-bye to you and I don't know how I will do that without the heaviest of hearts. You have been not just a house, but a home. One that has not been built of bricks and mortar but of love and memories. One that has provided shelter and warmth, family togetherness, and a myriad of so many things it's hard to even remember them all.
I didn't even quite have everything settled before I brought daughter number 2 home to you. Number one had not yet adjusted to her new room and at the ripe age of two, made herself a comfortable bed at the foot of mine. When number two was older, she too made a place for herself at the foot of the bed as well.
Over the years their rooms became their own little worlds. They were painted and repainted, decorated and redecorated as they grew. First it was baby bears, then it was tweendom. Then it was high school, hip and colorful and then as they grew it suddenly became grown up and neutral.
The family room began as a Southwest designers late 80's dream. It's evolved over the years and accommodated toys upon toys; boys upon boys. It's been the host room of many a family gathering; my mother was here, her presence is always remembered now that she is gone. She played on the floor with the girls as Dad slept in one of the easy chairs. Now he still comes by and sleeps in the chair.
We made our living room a big dining room so we could have family holidays. There have been many; with relatives that are no longer with us. The great laughter of my mother in law, the beautiful smile of my mother all memories at the table in that room. The piano that the girls briefly took lessons on sits in that room as well. They were little girls, now they are college graduates.
The kitchen has always been my favorite room. It is where family dinners were a way of life, crafts were done at the table. I sat in there sewing halloween costumes, curtains, clothes. I redid it a few years ago and I still think it's the prettiest kitchen anywhere, even if other people don't. It's the room where any party ended up congregating. The room where we played the game of "Life", "Monopoly" and "Catch Phrase" for hours and hours as the room filled with laughter.
And the yard. Oh the backyard with the swing set that we bought for daughter number one when she started going on the potty. And the "little house" that was a miniature version of ours. The pretend games of "house" we played in there. The swings and the slide. The laughter. The patio with the outdoor meals.
Then there was the basketball hoop on the driveway. The hours daughter number two played on that driveway could go down in record books. And the thrill of sitting on the front stoop watching her can never be equaled.
You have been part of an idyllic neighborhood with a park that is also filled with memories. The playground where the girls played for hours; the baseball field where daughter number two and her little league team of all boys plus her, won the world series at the ripe old age of 10. And the riding bikes all around the subdivision; the cement sidewalk that the girls carved their initials into, forever to be a part of this place.
Every time we did something to you we were all so excited. The new bathroom; the new landscaping. Even just a new door was a thrill because with every little thing, it made our home the best ever. And now we are leaving.
I have to realize that no matter where we go, we will make a new place our home. But it will not be the same as you. People always seem to remember the home they grew up in or the house they raised their family in. And I will. But now it's time to go - it will be the hardest thing I have done in a long time.
I will take my memories with me and hold on to them tightly. I don't know if once I'm gone I will be able to come and see you again; it will make me too sad.
So yes, you will have a new family living here. We feel as though we are betraying you, leaving you to have someone else take care of you. We can only hope that they do half as good a job as we did.
Thank you for being my shelter, my haven. When it's time to say good-bye I hope you give me a sign that I'm doing the right thing.
Have another car drive through the front door? (future blog)