My Mom recently sold and moved out of the house we grew up in last November. At the time, I couldn't say that I was sad. I couldn't say that I felt anything really. My Mom was obviously distraught having to leave her home where she raised her children, and created so many memories. I on the other hand, was glad to see it go.
I couldn't think of any positive feelings I had felt there.
"Get rid of it", I thought.
So many tragic and terrifying things happened there. So many horrible memories surfaced anytime I thought of that house. I never felt safe there; as much as I know my Mother tried, it was just haunted by it's past. I could never shake that eerie feeling I had felt ever since I was young.
So, because I was so clouded by the bad, I never remembered the good.
Until this week, when Matt and I drove past it to see what it looked like.
The buyer who first obtained the house from my Mom, was a "house flipper" which basically means they gut older houses and remodel them completely. We knew this, and we were all a little anxious and excited to know the house would be getting a much needed facelift.
As we pulled up, within what felt like seconds, I found myself standing on that front porch, knocking on the door with my little family, asking the new owner if we could come in.
That porch, where we put all of our jack o' lanterns out for Halloween.
The porch, where we would sit and talk sometimes.
The porch where my brothers and I got locked outside, because we forgot our keys.
As the new owner welcomed us in, I instantly felt a new and fresh spirit there. I mean, I started to shake as he took us from room to room. With each new discovery, the bad memories drifted away like ambers in a fire.
Happy memories flooded my mind. I was recalling every memory as it came to me, with each new part of the house we saw.
That old brick wall, where our stockings were hung each Christmas.
The fireplace glass I colored on with crayons that left a waxy residue behind.
My first, very own bedroom.
The hallway where we would play 'hide and seek' with Lady, our childhood dog.
The kitchen, where we surprised my Mom with a brand new dining table.
The basement, where I would play 'guns' with my brothers, and watch them play Final Fantasy.
Playing in that old white car parked on cinderblocks in the backyard.
The front yard where we took family pictures when my brothers left on missions.
The makeshift bedroom that my Dad built, where Aaron and I had late night conversations about life.
The broken garage door, that I drove my car into when I was 18.
Falling asleep to the sound of the washer and dryer by my room. I knew that if it was starting, my Mom was still awake. And if she was still awake, it meant that nothing could harm me and I was safe.
Back patio sleepovers with my friends.
The new owner would get increasingly excited to show us more, as he saw my excitement with each new change. I was able to give him a glimpse of what the house looked like before the remodel, and where things used to be. The old and the new, meeting face to face.
It was perfect.
It was just what I needed.
It was closure on the past. I finally let go of that chapter to my life, without even realizing how badly I needed to do so.
It was my house, but it was the better version of it. The version I think we always saw in it. It had reached it's potential, and I couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome.
It has new owners now. New memories to create with them. They will go to my park that I grew up going to. They will make fires on cold nights in that old brick fireplace. They will have BBQs and sleepovers on the back patio. They will take family pictures in the front yard under the large oak tree. They will love it, just like I do now.
This song really does describe my thoughts that I have been feeling. That house on 8640 South truly did build me. I am thankful to that house, for teaching me so much and showing me how truly beautiful it always was.
"The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert
What happy memories do you have of our house? Please share any that come to mind, so that we can reminisce together.