Last night, I pulled away one last time, car loaded with artifacts of my childhood, from the home that I grew up in.
We moved there 21 years ago last November. To the country from the city. To the wide-open spaces from the closely crammed ‘burb. To the lonely quiet from the knock-knock of neighbourhood kids calling, “come out and play.”
I cried for months.
I remember, every time the car windows would fog up that winter, writing “I want to go home” on them. I’ve always been one who holds on strong. Attachments grow fast, and go deep. And now, over 20 years later, I say goodbye to the place that was far more “home” than the last one my parent’s moved from.
And I can’t stop my eyes from brimming with tears.
My wise husband said last night, as tears streamed down at the dinner table, “All change is loss. And loss deserves lament.” And so, with his council, I let the tears come.
And yet…this lament, these tears, this lump in my throat…the reason they exist is because it was all so good.
So, yes, I lament. Taking my books and bears, my miniature rocking chair, my prom dresses, my wedding gown away from that house where I grew up reinforces the fact that I grew up.
Driving from that home, knowing I won’t return, reinforces the fact that the childhood spent there is also over.
And when a good thing is over, there’s some sadness. But the sadness is a celebration – like the tearful joy at the funeral of one who’s life was so well-lived.
Let me tell you all the things my sadness celebrates...
– the roads cycled, the fields tromped, the hill rolled, the trees climbed
– the bed shared with sister
– Christmas wrap burning coloured flames in woodstove
– laying in bed, listening to chatter as mom permed, coloured, cut hair in the kitchen, ladies bent over kitchen sink to be washed
– waking up to exclaim “the neighbour’s cows are on our lawn again!”
– the stray cat fed, then kept, birthing a lone kitten on my bedroom floor one early Saturday morning (we thought she was just finally healthy and fattening up!)
– Christmas lights shining green on my bedroom ceiling Christmas eve
– hamsters buried in the abandoned vegetable garden
– mortified at Mother in housecoat chasing unruly puppy off the school bus
– being the first one to jump in that pool after it was built, and the first so many summers after that
– trees planted with Dad
– the carefully (lovingly!) painted blue bedroom with the gold stars
– friends gathered ’round bonfires
– junior-high girlfriends giggling in hot tub
– family-friends gathered pot-luck style
– sunroof open, music up, driving country roads home from highschool with my sister
– closing door calling “bye! I’m going to get engaged!”
So yes, there are tears…
But only because there’s so much good left behind.
(a blessing, to have a childhood worth relishing!)
I cried last time they moved – and just look at all the good that came from that new home!
So, cliche as it is, I know
home is where the heart is.
And it’s true.
And my heart resides with these…
wherever they go.
By Rae, www.raesdaze.com