Monday, February 14, 2011

The End Of An Era

I am writing to you today of all days, Valentine's Day, with tears streaming down my face and sobs choking in my throat. See my father and step-mother recently divorced after 25 or so years together. That in and of itself was shocking to me, but as my best friend said, "That is the most surprising unsurprising thing I have ever heard!". No they were not happy, as individuals or as a couple, but the child in me just got used to it, never expecting that once my brother was grown and out of the house everyone would be out of the house. Raising an unruly step-daughter (shock...hand to the mouth...gasp) yours truly and an autistic/bi-polar son took its toll on them. They did not fight back hard enough to keep their marriage, dissolving it the simplest way to deal with 25 years of heartbreak and resentment. It took a while to sell the house but it finally sold. My step-mom moves out Saturday and I find myself so upset today because the house I grew up in I will never go to again. When we moved in I was an insecure and scared child of 11, and when I moved out and away to college at 19 I was a confident and sassy almost-adult that thought she knew everything. Oh the memories we made with those 4 walls and a roof as the rock of Gibraltar backdrop of safe security!

The house is going to another family. Other people will bring their baby home from the hospital, take their child to the first day of school, open their presents Christmas morning, throw the ball for their dog in the backyard. Other people will spend evenings entertaining and chatting in that beautiful kitchen I co-designed with their construction crew, enjoying the Mediterranean inspired tumbled marble and intricately tiled back splash as they make their lifetime of memories in the house I made mine in. This is such an oh-so-sad ending to a very important phase of my life. My formative years. I grew up there! I know which step creeks in which place so as to avoid detection when coming in after curfew. I know which window sticks where and how the setting sun heats up my bedroom. I know which switch works which sprinkler head, having helped my father "tune" their spray countless times, usually against my will! 

I know these tears are being shed for so much more than a house. It is the loss of my childhood home that is hitting me so hard. Which leads to the deeper reason, the loss of my family. I suppose this is the mourning I have never done. This is the most real it has felt. Yes it was strange sleeping with my husband in my parents bed when we would visit, my step-mom insisting and sleeping in my old room, my dad living in a condo the next town over. Yes it is strange having to correct the mental image that pops to mind when I think of them together and living life as husband and wife. This is my 3rd divorce and it gets easier with each one, as I become more of an adult and create my own life. But separation hurts so many more than those directly involved. They created a home, made a family, and have now moved on to other pursuits in life, as have I, and even my little brother has too. So this overly-emotional woman of 32, no wait 34, is that how old I am? Lets just go with 27. So this overly emotional woman of 27 must dry her tears and pretty herself up so my husband can take me out to lunch and we can make our own memories on this sunny and beautiful Valentine's Day.

Thanks for joining,

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  1. When my parents sold my childhood home in 2007 I was so sad. I didn't live there anymore but I was 27 years old and had lived there since I was 4. It was my sanctuary. My room with the pink walls and the view overlooking the marsh across the street. I was very heartbroken and would drive by sometimes and just park like I used to. Even now if I have a bad time of things I will pull up in front of the driveway and just cry. I still feel safer on that street in front of my old home then I do in most places.
    It stays.
    I hope you have a very wonderful lunch with your precious husband. You deserve it sister.

  2. My family farm is currently for sale due to my mother's health. It has been in the family for over 125 years. I feel the pain you are going through. :o(