I was doing a little exploration on my Facebook page when I stumbled upon “notes” that I had written now almost 2 years ago. Each entry (there were only three) were regarding moving, which makes me think that those must be some of the most pivotal times in my life. The need to out pour some form of expression during a move seems to be important for me and it was interesting to see how I had felt during that time without the notion that Cambodia would ever be in my future.
While I stand on the brink of another move, much smaller this time and only to a new apartment (which I have not yet found), I realize that this may be another historic move for me for different reasons. To reflect back on this post helped me realize that although a relocation can be difficult, exciting, and full of murky possibilities, we have no idea what is on the even further horizon. I smile especially wide at the sentence “I welcome the heartache that will surely come when I realize we will never be together, living in the same place again” in reference to my mom and I. Turns out, that wasn’t the case.
I thought I would share one of the posts. The rest, later.
November 24, 2011.
I help my mom move out of the home we’ve lived in for the past 12 years in Gig Harbor.
None of us had ever lived in a place for as long as that, so it’s going to be quite the experience., to say the least.
It’s also the place my sister and I grew up. Where I went through my juvie phase. Where she learned her division. Where I had my first boyfriend, snuck my first beer, and sang the “Arthur” theme song countless times after school. Where we got our new kitten, ate thousands of home cooked meals, fought with our parents, and spent Christmas mornings together in complete bliss.
It’s also where we lived when my dad died; January 10th, 2010.
That in itself made being in that home far more difficult than we could have imagined, every room held memories of him. His shelves upon shelves of books, his photographs, his toothbrush, his sporadic notes found nestled in cookbooks. He remains in our minds and hearts as the best man that we ever had the honor of meeting, loving.
Over the past 2 years, it’s been a healing process for my sister, mother, and I along with close friends who had known him for my entire childhood and adolescence. As my mother moves across the globe to Cambodia to begin new work, we box up the shells my dad and I used to sort when I was 4 and move our little cats to my new apartment and cook some of the last meals in that home on Beardsley Ave.
What I think comes down to this: a home is just a house without the people and memories in it that made it what it is. I (hopefully) have a lifetime ahead to create new experiences, craft new times to remember, and absorb the love and deflect the hatred from the people around me. This can all happen in a new space, and I welcome it. I welcome the humid, heavy nights my mother has ahead of her in Southeast Asia. I welcome the lonely nights my sister will experience until she finds herself. I welcome the heartache that will surely come when I realize we will never be together, living in the same place again. I welcome the invitation to build a new life with someone.
And I’m grateful for everything that has happened at that home to this very last moment.