My Grandma and Grandpa were working class people who saved every penny they had when they got married, lived with their parents until they had enough, and built a red brick house that would be the house that they loved, cherished, raised their family and lived in for their entire lives. This is the house my mother came home from the hospital to, and the one that I have so many fond memories of. Now that both of my grandparents have passed, it was time that the house be sold to a new family that can hopefully build a life there. Today my mom is there signing the papers that pass ownership to that new family, and although it is time for that chapter to close for all of us, it’s hard. But no matter what, no matter who lives in that house the memories we all share can’t be taken. They will always be happy ones, and I consider that a gift.
As an adult (post college) I have moved 3 times. Each time I was perfectly ready to move on. Each home had many memories but as much as they were good for my life at the time, they were never going to be the home I raised my family in. I think we are in that home now. I also have been lucky enough to still have (OK well my parents have…) the house that I lived in since I was 8. My childhood home. The one I still call home. I say I’m lucky because it feels good to go back there. I feel safe there and know it’s a place that I can always go home to. I am sure my mom has always felt that way about my Grandparents house.
We visited a lot there over the years, and when we did we would spend many days. It’s funny, I don’t picture myself in that house anywhere past the age of 14. I will always be a little girl in that house running from room to room. The moment we arrived we would ask for the “box of toys” from the attic. This box held many treasures that really were my moms toys when she was little, but to us they were all we needed. There was the apple tree in the back yard and my Grandpa’s corn in his garden. We would sit on the front porch and count the cars as they went by and at night we would “make the bed” which consisted of setting up the pull out couch. We thought we were so cool watching TV at night on that bed even if they only had 4 channels.
It’s funny how important a house can be. Yes it’s just walls and paint but to my Grandparent’s it represented everything they worked for in life. It wasn’t a big house but it was all theirs. One could only wish everyone had a little piece of the American dream that they could call their own. These days you don’t find that very often, and for that I always commend them.
So today we all say goodbye to the house on Harry L Drive. I don’t know when I will get back to see it, but to be honest it no longer holds the feelings it used to. Without my Grandma and Grandpa’s warm hugs, and the smells of my Grandma’s pies it just isn’t the same. My mom told me it’s all empty now. The furniture is all gone and it no longer feels like her house. I guess it will make it easier for sign the papers to sell. But like I said no one can take away the memories that house has brought me and my family. Loved is the word I would use to describe it….I was loved, it was loved, and we all were loved there. As I said before….that is a gift.