I walked through the empty rooms and hallways of our home last week as we prepared to leave. I heard voices; my niece and nephew calling me Necky, my granddaughter calling me Amma. They were loud voices, full of laughter. I saw them running through the hallways, reading books, waking up my husband when they spent the night, crawling, walking and standing looking at us, like they had done for so many years. I saw holidays, Christmas trees, parties and friends, all filling our home with laughter, love and memories. Then I saw the emptiness and then I felt it, we both did.
(This is the door frame of our pantry where each child measured themselves as they grew up.)
I held the banister knob in our hallway and stood quietly, letting go of the house but tucking away the memories so they would travel with me. My husband deals with this stuff differently than me. I want to talk about it, to share the memories, to laugh and to cry. He wants to just keep moving forward, not talk about it because it is too painful. So each of us humored the other as we let go of the house which had become a home, and filled us with such beautiful memories.
We know the couple who are moving in will build a beautiful life in this house and we are so happy for them. We are happy to be moving on to new adventures. But still so sad to leave behind the dream house we remodeled together. It was the first home we owned together and the first home I ever owned so it is really special to me.
I had to remind myself of what was to come as I closed the door for the last time and walked down our beautiful grey and white tiles, and closed the 120 year old iron gate which had welcomed me home for 8.5 years.
I said good bye to a part of myself as I left, this house will always hold a part of me. I think that is the beauty of old homes, they are full of stories and memories of the people who came before them. It was an honor for me to be part of its history.