Wednesday, February 1, 2012

change




This past weekend was a bittersweet one for me and my family. The previous Thursday my mom had called to let me know that our home was sold and was only ours for a few more days.  We all knew the house was for sale but had no idea it would all happen so fast.  After I got off the phone with my mom my eyes started welling up thinking about the idea of only having my childhood home a few more days and how I had to get home to see it one last time.  A few seconds later my sister called to see how I was doing, everyone in the family knows I am the emotional one and my sister being my second mom checked on me right away.  I told her I was happy for our parents and that it’s just so weird that we won’t have the house anymore.  She felt the same way but is much more level headed about these things and was mostly comforting me per usual. After we had gotten off the phone I started thinking about why I had such an emotional attachment to the house. I mean when we all go home now we go to Shelter Island and we are lucky that when they built this new house that we all still had a bed room and places for the new additions of our family and I cleaned out my room a year ago knowing the house was on the market so what gives, why was I so sad?!?  I guess when it actually all came to fruition it hit me like a ton of bricks and the reality that the home I always knew wasn’t going to be ours anymore.  A new family was moving in making lots of changes (much needed) and instantly this was going to be their house. We immediately made plans to all go to the house on Sunday one last time to say goodbye and then to have lunch afterwards at one of our local restaurants.
I was last to arrive on Sunday and started tearing up as soon as I pulled in my driveway. I kept thinking everything I was going to do was going to be for the last time. I walked into my house and it was completely empty. Not a photo or a piece of furniture left that reminded me of the house I called home my whole life, yet I somehow could clearly remember where everything used to be.  I was surprised when my niece Emma at age 8 had so many memories herself. Where she got her first electronic Jeep for Christmas, the drawer where we kept the dogs toys & keys.  Walking through the house and hearing my sister tell her two daughters all her memories she had of talking on walking talkies to her best friend Natalie across the street because their bedroom windows faced each other or having to call home to have my mom or dad meet her at the end of the driveway to cross the street after hanging out at our neighbors house when she was little. How I used to throw books under her door at her feet to get her attention because she was usually ignoring me (the girls got a kick out of that). It was all a trip down memory lane for each of us. It made me remember how I used to sit in the doorway of her bedroom and watched TV in the reflection of her mirror just so I could feel like I was watching TV with her even though she wanted to be left alone from her annoying little sister. Walking around my empty bedroom and seeing the black high gloss outlets reminded me of my 6th grade birthday present where I was allowed to remodel my bedroom and I chose all black and white polka dots as my theme, it was sooooo 90’s but I loved it. Going through my dads old office I saw the outline of where his desk used to be due to the change in the wood floor color and thought about how all three pups we had growing up would snuggle under there together at once while he worked. I walked on the back deck and was happy to see that my mom had saved the dinner bell that she would ring when it was time for us all to come in from playing when we were little. The endless amounts of kickball games with the boys on our cul de sac street that had spray painted bases left behind from when my brother and sister were younger. Going through the garage I thought about when my brother practiced his Mr. West Islip routine with his friends to The Jackson Five’s, I WANT YOU BACK, and won! My sister recalled to my nieces how on the tool bench that still remained was where she ripped her brand new $100 jeans in the knees for a Bon Jovi concert she was going to with her friends.  The empty living room had us flashing back to when we cleared the room one Thanksgiving to see my cousin Shannon (the family gymnast) prove to us she could still do everything she did ten years younger which resulted in her doing back flips from one corner of the room to the other, or when one our family dinners turned into a dance party and my Uncle Bruce put his foot into the wall from an ambitious dance move. All the holidays, parties (even the ones our parents didn’t know about), puppies and proms that all took place within those old walls would no longer happen there.

Emma with her Jeep Christmas 2007 & our sweet old pup Homer



the dining room on Sunday
(the girls were feeling tall that they could reach the dining room lamp)

I started writing this on the Cross Sound Ferry heading back to my other home, the one I have with my husband. I am sure I to will be sad when we one day move and I have to leave our cozy apartment. It’s where we fell in love, the home he invited me to live with him in, where we laid in bed and planned our wedding and where we got snowed in or drank our way through hurricanes without ever losing power (such a bonus of city living). I think I will forever have an attachment to wherever I live because each place will have memories that you can’t ever duplicate. My dad summed it up to me perfectly after I returned to Shelter Island on Sunday night – he said has never wanted to ever sell any home he is ever lived in. If he could have kept them all he would have. Each house is a chapter in our life and each home had special meaning and while change can be good it also can be hard.  
Some people may read this and think –  oh lordy what problems this girl has and that is fine,  everyone can feel differently about certain events in their life. My thought process is this, step one is accepting I am an sensitive person and perhaps too much at times and step two is owning it and I finally can say that I like that I am the way that I am.  Moments like this and things like our homes are special and important to me and I would never want to be the person that doesn’t have a heavy heart when they are no longer in our life.
I am lucky to still have a home to go to, even it’s not the one I knew for 32 years. I know that is a privilege and I will never take it for granted. Lots of great and new memories are and will be created in those newer walls and I will appreciate that wherever my family is, is what where we will call home.
Henry, Krista & I in our old back yard
(my brother & sister are going to kill me for posting this photo)

my mom, sister, nieces & I at the house for the last time on Sunday







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