Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's Just A House


Can you call an inanimate object a friend? If so, I told one goodbye today.

I set foot in my parent's house of over 40 years for what was probably the last time. My father is no longer with us, my mother has moved to downsize - the house was just too much for her to keep up with. The last several months have seen us cleaning, moving, throwing away, and repairing it in preparation to sell. I never knew how much stuff a family could accumulate over the course of 40 years until it had to all be gone through and distributed/disposed of. It was a long process, sometimes putting us at odds with each other. But it seems to be finished now. The house stands empty, awaiting the final papers to be signed so the new owner can take the keys.

My parents designed the house themselves in 1969. It saw me and my siblings through our formative years. It was our first 'real' home - being Air Force and airline brats, we had spent our lives to that point in apartments or rentals in different locations. 40 Thanksgivings ... 40 Christmas celebrations ... those walls saw an awful lot of joy, and some sadness. My father drew his last breath there, comforted in the knowledge that he was 'home' and not in a hospital bed.

The emotional impact of severing ties with the structure eluded me until today. There has been so much to do that it was easy to not concentrate on what we were actually doing. Until today. The last pieces moved out, I stood alone inside of it, and the impact was suddenly there.

I looked around. It had never looked so empty. I looked outside at the area where we had returned so many of our beloved pets to the earth, and cried. I know in my head that their spirit, their essence, is long gone, but in my heart it hurts.

I close the door and lock it, start the truck, and for one last time, back down the winding, narrow, tree lined driveway way too fast - as I had done a thousand times before. For the last time ...

It's just a house. I keep telling myself, it's just a house ...

3 comments:

Scott McCray said...

Yeah, it's just a house...right. Keep telling yourself that, and someday maybe it will be just a house. But the memory will live on...
Miranda Lambert - The House That Built Me

...I think I got dust in my eyes again...

Margot said...

I am so sorry. How truly sad. "Middle age", I have found, seems to involve letting go of so much before I thought I would have to. You are in my thoughts.

"This house isn't mine anymore, but the memories are; the memories can't be sold". Cecilia Ahern

AP80 said...

It takes a big man to acknowledge these feelings, more or less publish them to the WWW. I'm impressed ;)