My parents have finally done it, they have separated and the house is sold. I should be happy that at least one of them can move on and start living again after so many years of unhappiness. But I’m not.
The house has been the one consistency in my 37years of life on this plant. Yes, I have been away for 20yrs now but when I go back to Canada to visit, I go HOME. This is the home that has had no one else live in it because it was a new build, a home built for a family of 5… with happy and most recently, sad memories. yes, actually there were unhappy memories throughout for all of us in differen’t ways.. I’m certainly under no illusions the house held many secrets, betrayals etc but for now, I shall remember the happy times because there were many.
I’m grieving right now. Just because someone hasn’t died it doesn’t mean that people don’t grieve. It’s a process that you go through. There once was something in my life but now it is gone. From what I have been told it is being purchased by a couple who have never owned before. I don’t know if they have a family but it certainly is big enough if they do have kids. There is a basement which can finally be turned into a tv room, a main floor and an upstairs with three bedrooms. Mine was the middle one. I shared it with one of my sisters for a time… it was a place where I dreamed, slept and made plans in. I had friends stay over.. both of my children also slept in my room when I took them home to meet my parents. But now they won’t know what it was truly like because they were only months and weeks old.This makes me sad. They won’t hear the crickets, see the fireflies, have a bbq on the deck, experience water fights, hear the lawn mowers in the summer, smell the freshly cut grass… build the snow forts and watch the snow fall endlessly in the winter from the window that I watched it from.
They also won’t feel the heat and see the flames from the fireplace which went out many years ago… they went after my Dad’s accident… when he could no longer work and drive therefore unable to collect wood… the chimney was cracked before this but now beyond repair and use. My Mum would at times when we were younger, cook on the top of the wood burner… I remember watching the Muppets in the basement one year when it was exceptionally cold and we set up a dinner table because it was so much warmer. It was cosy… my Dad would often fall asleep in his chair or on the black couch which may or may not have replaced the orange one that I as a child left unattended, painted with some black paint.
It was also the place where I hosted skating parties due to living across from the arena.. played late night games of hide and seek with neighbourhood friends.. Played road hockey, skipped , and camped in the field across the street… There was also the old park before the new one with the baseball diamond was built with its old monkey bars and wooden house.. across from the house was my bus stop where the yellow school bus would pick me and my friends up around 08:15am… The place where my best friend and I would try to get string from my wondow to hers a block away to attach styrofoam cups for a a “telephone”…
It was the place where no matter if I was 1 block away or down at the creek, my mother could holler loud enough for me to hear, because it was dinner time. You could put money on it that I would be back out after though, to continue whatever game it was we were playing at the time.. It was also the place where my mother would cook and friends would come. The place where no matter where in the world my sisters and I were living, all of us could come HOME. Not at the same time.. it was unusual at a time for all of us to be in the same country, let alone our home, at any one time. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as we aren’t very close and really don’t get along. lol. Bittersweet really.
However, as I mentioned, with the good there are also the bad… The house was in dire need of renovations which really should have been done a long the way but weren’t for whatever reason… It was a home which became too big for two people to maintain… too many stairs to climbe etc.. They say its for the best. Old neighbours have died, new ones moved in, there are also a lot of new houses.. a town of 2500 has grown.. it isn’t the same in some respects but it hasn’t changed in others..
I have often wondered what will happen when I go home …. Will I drive by or will it be too painful? Will I want to knock on the door and ask to see what the new people have done in order to bring closure? That wouldn’t really be right and it would be quite cheeky.
Good bye old friend…. You weren’t “just” a house.. but a home.