Familiar Things


Familiar Things

chair-1778706_640My parents and my brother lived together in this wee house on this quiet street in a town about 30 minutes from where we lived. The house was adorably small -- the perfect grandma's home, and the perfect home for them. I had never lived there; my parents and brother bought this house at the same time the hubby and I had a house built. I had not lived at home for 18 years when they moved here. I had always considered it "Mom's house" whenever I went to visit the three of them. When Mom passed away, the house became Dad and Clay's house in my vocabulary. Still filled with Mom's favorite knick knaks, and a few paintings on the wall, it became a sad place for me to venture back too but I learned to suck it up. For 20 months that is.

Twenty months after mom passed away, my father and I sold the wee house. I was a bit relieved -- I have to admit this. The memories of her there were so sad to handle, and now that Dad was too sick to return home, and the doctor's order that my brother not be allowed to live alone, selling their home seemed the only choice. I cried that Halloween day in 2012 when we finished loading the contents and drove away for the last time. All the familiar things played around in my head -- Mom's chair in the corner, the deck out back where they could sit and watch the dog play, the big-ass garage where my dad stocked all the goodies he kept purchasing from the shopping channel, my brothers apartment filled with momentums he had collected and hung on the walls. I could still see them laughing in the living room which felt so tiny to this claustrophobic girl.

Two weeks after the house sold dad passed away, followed the following month by my brother. I remember feeling like I was suffocating with all the familiar things still so close. I found myself heading down to their house so many times before I had to pull over on the side of the road. I kept forgetting they were no longer there -- or here. How does that happen !?! Back at our house, I kept seeing my mom walking up my driveway (she had come to visit the week before she had her stroke which left her paralyzed), I would sit in the living room and turn toward the chair I last saw my brother in Christmas day 2012 (he passed away on Boxing day that year), and my fathers voice echoed through out my house. I was suffocating by memories, and familiar things! I did the only thing I could do -- I sold the house in 2015. Bought 5 acres of land, built another house and ran.

We now live three hours away from all those familiar things. All the reminders that life had changed, life had been lost, life was never going to be the same. And now, now what do I do? I long for the familiar things -- the wee house on the quiet street in a town about 30 minutes from where we lived, the corner of my home where I last saw my brother, my father's voice echoing through out my house, the big ass garage filled with unopened purchases, and that beautiful deck they could sit out on and watch their dog. It's funny how time can change how we view things. When once familiar things felt too hard to handle, they now would feel like gifts from above to me. I love where I am living now, don't get me wrong. It's beautiful and magical here, especially with the snow on the trees. New memories will be made and cherished. And I still have the old memories, playing around in my head but to be able to be back where life had changed, life had been lost, life was never going to be the same would be nice now. A few years later brings about different feelings for me; their loss still stings sometimes, but those memories mentioned above, make me smile more now then they did back then. I guess I never realized how the familiar things that brought me tears would one day bring me comfort.

One thing I do more of now is pay attention to the moments that will turn into memories one day. So next time I feel like I am suffocating with all the familiar things, I can take comforting in knowing that one day they will bring me peace.

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There's so many facets to your story, Kathy. All of them intriguing and inspiring. Thank you, once again.


Kathy, I can just see that house and how things were. I think I have had the same feelings when we were getting Elly's house sold, thinking that she isn't there anymore, time to get out of that house! But the memories do come flooding at times...always the good ones but yes, I am really glad I haven't been back to see it, AwesomeHubby has but I just can't. We can move on in peace with those memories gently calling to us at times!