After almost two months since my father’s passing, it’s now time to empty the house and sell the place where I grew up and my parents lived for over 60 years. I haven’t lived in that house since I was 18, but still the dwelling holds many memories.
I remember when we moved from the small house next door into our “big” house. . . of 1000 sq. feet . . . but to us the place was a palace. My brother and I each had our own room. We had a long hallway where my father taught me to skip. We had a basement, which was a whole world we never had in our little house. The basement was where we used our imaginations to make up plays, play dress up, and even help mom with the wash once in a while. When we got older, it was where my mother had den meetings for my brother’s Cub Scout den. It also was where I had my first girl-boy party when I was in eighth grade.
Every inch of that house was special because my father built it with his own hands. Every inch was neater than I could ever make anything because both of my parents were neat freaks. They had few things new or expensive items, except for my Dad’s lawn equipment in the garage. I didn’t take much. A dresser. A chair. A coffee pot, three china tea cups and saucers, an indoor grill and some dish rags. I didn’t want much because I have a whole household of my own. Going through this chore was especially hard for my younger brother and sister because both of them were closer to my parents in recent years than I was. It still was surreal to me, to go through drawers I never opened in my life. I kept reminding myself that it was only stuff, and my parents are together again in another place. Some of what they left behind holds sentiment and other stuff will live on in usefulness for someone else.
It’s a stage of life we all go through, but I’m thankful I only have to do this once.