This month my parents sold the home where they raised their family, my two brothers, my sister and me. It all happened pretty quickly. Less than a year ago Mom and Dad decided to move to sunny Florida. Once the decision was made it took less than eight months to purchase a new home more than a thousand miles away, purge sixty years of accumulated possessions, resettle in their new home and say good-bye to the house that once nurtured their family. Whew! This was no small accomplishment for two people in their 80s.
On the morning of the closing for the house I took one final walk through ostensibly to make sure all was in order for the new owners, but in reality to say good-bye.
As I walked through the empty rooms I remembered...
I remembered that winter, long ago, when it snowed and snowed and snowed. It snowed so much we were able to build an igloo with blocks of snow. There's never been a winter quite like it.
I remembered being sick, first with the mumps and then with the measles, curled up on the couch with the silky puff (reserved for times when we were sick) sipping ginger ale for what seemed like weeks and weeks. To this day I can not drink ginger ale.
I remembered my excitement as I lay awake waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve, believing I actually heard the clop of hooves on the roof.
I remembered the delight of coming home from school to a fresh plate of chocolate chip cookies or whoopie pies.
I remembered how we all gathered in the den with anticipation the day we got our first color TV.
I remembered dreaming of the future as I lay on the bed in my beautiful lavender bedroom with posters of Davy Jones and Bobby Sherman on the wall.
I remembered sitting down to our nightly dinners at the kitchen table.
I remembered the excitement of getting dressed in my wedding gown on a hot August morning thirty-six years ago.
Most of all, I remembered always feeling safe, comfortable and loved.
It wasn't with sadness that I locked the door behind me and left the house one last time. This house was good to my family and I'm sure will be good to another family. I wasn't sad because as I locked the door and walked away I left the house behind, but those memories came away with me.