40 North Main - Letting Go of the Past

Monday, June 12, 2017


Over Memorial Weekend, I wandered over to my childhood home. It's empty now, and somehow looks smaller and sadder without our things inside. It's waiting to be rented to someone new, who doesn't know the life the place once held -- the joy, the pain, the mundane inbetween. 


When I first heard this would happen, I couldn't let go of the home I'd grown up in. It felt like something was dying. My youth, my family, my home, I couldn't explain it. I just couldn't let it all go.  Sometimes, as I tried to process the letting go, all I could think about was that everything has changed so much in the past few years. 

We had this beautiful large family, that was continuing to grow as marriages, and grandchildren were born. We'd all gather here, and my mom's piano that once sat under those cursive letters on the wall would ring out with either sticky little fingers striking too many keys at once, or my mom's graceful hands playing any melody with ease. 


But time has other plans. Moms get stage 4 brain cancer, and die at 58. The future as we knew it disappears. Remarriage and massive family growth happens, and the house suddenly became too small for the life that it now needed to hold.


Wandering through the house now, I can see what I hadn't before. Without our family in there, or the things that made up our lives, it's just a building. It's empty, and didn't feel like home. My basement bedroom looks more creepy than what it used to be - the four walls that I sat inside of while I dreamed up my future. 

Everything looked more run down than I ever remembered. In a way, seeing it empty like that was much like viewing a person at their funeral. It isn't the person's body that makes them a person anymore than the house makes the home. What makes a house a home is the life that runs through those walls. Seeing it empty gave me closure. 


The yard has been left to grow wild, and my mom's once beautiful flower and food garden is run ragged with weeds, and overgrowth. The small sidewalk that runs down through the yard, is starting to disappear underneath the weeds, the same weeds that are swallowing the playground built for my little brothers when they were born.


This visit taught me something big that i wasn't expecting. Home is not a point on a map, it's so much more than that. 

These photos are proof of a life that once existed that has moved on to a new place. So many great memories here that I'll never forget, but time has shown me that home is somewhere new, now. 


It's time to let go, and look to the future.


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3 comments

  1. Beautiful Lana - thank you for inviting us into your experience and sharing the insights and understandings you gained by visiting your old family 'house'...this resonates with anyone who has learned that 'home' is truly carried wherever you may go - within your Heart.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's bittersweet, but I've come to terms with it.

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