I visited my old house yesterday.
It’s crazy how a home can hold such energy inside it’s walls. I nearly ran, skipped and jumped out of that house a few months ago, without a thought of what I was actually leaving behing. It’s funny how we push so hard for the future, only to regret our thoughtlessness later.
I opened the front door, glanced inside and saw the old familiar pool blue walls, reflecting the lights from the salt water fish tank in the front room. It was roughly the size of a twin bed, and it was placed front and center for all who drove up our street to see. Coral shapped like a brain, some like trees or flowing bubbles of floresant beams, danced like a minature city moving to the beat of a relaxed reggae classic hit. Fish of every size, from every point in the color wheel, glided aimlessly over, under, and through the rocks, as if nothing had changed. In a way, it hadn’t. Their ecosystem hadn’t been ripped apart like the family home that encased their abode.
Everything else surrounding the tank was very different. Paint cans, saw dust, and empty rooms engulfed my spirit. Lonely nails on the walls whispered of memories once hung, filling the big walls with love. Marks from pen and knicks in the sheetrock, scattered randomly throughout, proving that a large family had once lived within it’s walls. Empty cupboards, drawers and closets, sitting empty just waiting for the next family to breath life into them again.
I followed Jon upstairs, and the feelings started getting heavier. I checked the new paint job in the first room that had been Kinleys. It was the largest room, decorated in pinks and yellows. Remnants from her trips to France and Equador scattered about. Was Kinley really seven when we moved in, yes, indeed she was. Unbelievable, now she is seventeen.
The four children’s rooms upstairs were like musical chairs, you never knew which child’s bedroom you were looking at because our family changed so often. Sometimes our niece, Shauntyl, lived with us, and other times not. Sometimes Sydney lived with us, and other times not. Sometimes the kids were excited to share rooms because they were scared of the dark and other times they begged and pleaded for independance and a room to themselves.
I glanced at the next room, where most recently Halle had lived – and then Sydney – when she came home with a broken heart after divorcing her first husband. Oh how my heart ached for her. Such pain for a girl barley in her twenties. When she decided to leave him for good, it happened really fast. Almost over night, furniture, clothes and promisses were moved out of her old house and into mine. I cried with her when there weren’t any words left to say. I knew she was strong, and that she’d make it out even better than she had been before, but that’s a perspective you only get as a mother looking to your daughter.
I walked down the hall a little further and glanced to the left, where Brighton had been and later on where Ella had moved. It was a smaller room, with a beautiful view of the backyard and the huge trees. On the carpet I found a little note that said, “I hate mom.” surely written when she had been confined to her room for bad behavior. The outside of that door had some paint missing, from all of the signs she had taped, warning us to “stay away” “not allowed” or “I feel like rapunzel, let me out!”. That’s my Brighton, to be sure. When Ella lived there, the room was painted deep turquoise and filled with butterflies. Left behind from Brighton were the glowing stars on the celing, reminding me of my own mother that still adorns her ceiling to this day with them.
And then, I looked to the right. Handsome’s room, or better known as Jordan in the real world. The endless hours of sleeping by his side are etched in my brain forever. My body warms just thinking of the love, and heartache that surrounded his entrance into our home. Of course, he knew he was loved, but the enormous emotions that filled that little boy to the rim, almost outdid the best of our patience at times. He was a blessing, as were all of our children, but he came to us through adoption and a prayer said in silence. He was a physical manifestation of a wish that Heavenly Father granted. Yes, this room held memories of Jewel making sounds like butter that lolled my little man to sleep, night after night.
And then, my room. I finally looked at Jon in the eyes, and tears fell. I saw the place that snowflakes had been hung above my bed year after year. I looked through my favorite skylights above my bed into the night sky and thought of the house plans that I had drawn that matched this house layout exactly, right down to the skylights above my bed. Flashes came into my mind of baby Halle, and when I had bathed with her in my bathroom. I remembered times I lay crying on the floor, in almost umberable agony and all of the times we snuggled on the couch, watching our favorite shows and all the late night stories shared, that made us laugh together in bed or talking about our business plans for crazy amounts of time. I thought of the many nights sleeping next to my perpetually warm husband, when I was cold.
“I thought you wanted to move?”
“Then what’s wrong?”
“This house is the symbol of a decade in our families life. Ten years of laughing, crying, growing, sleeping, talking, eating, fighting, playing and babies – Ella was ONE when we moved in, and Halle was born here and a few years later, Jordan came. It’s a chapter that is ending, and now we are moving into the next part of our story, when the kids begin to leave the home and have babies of their own.”
And then, he understood my emotion. I know, because I saw it in his eyes. He leaned down, put his big arms around me, kissed me softly on the forehead and said, “But think of all the good memories we made here, and bad ones, but most importantly, all the good ones.”
I smiled, wiped my eyes, and we walked out of the house for the last time, and locked the door. The house is being updated and freshened up for it’s new owner, one who will fill it’s walls with emotion and memories again like the family before, and the one before that.
We drove to our new home, filled with children, and their friends, and very soon our first Grandbaby, Emma Elaine. Welcome to the new chapter of Pink Moss. Goodnight.