When I was young, I remember going on walks with my dad around my old neighborhood . More specifically I remember the walk when I told him, “You know this will be the last time I hold your hand?” He patted the back of my hand in his and said, “I know.”
I remember when we headed our street and turned into our driveway and let go. I guess I remember it because it really was the last time and we both knew that it would be.
Looking back, that’s just one of the million things I remember about that house and that time of my life. Almost every memory I have for well over half my life has that place, that house as the backdrop. There were about a million birthday parties there: some inside, some in the treehouse out back, and some at different locales. Yeah the skating rink…why do you ask?
When I was young and me and my sister got in trouble and got sent to our rooms, we’d whisper from the floor vents, “Is mom mad?” “I don’t know.” “I think she’s crying.” I had some of the worst fights and the best nights of my life there. That house saw me learn to ride a bike, shave my legs for the first and last time, drive a car, fall in love, leave for prom, and get my heart broken over and over again. And it watched my family go from 6 down to just me and my dad for the last few years we lived there. It’s where it all happened for me…my life.
There are many times that I dream about anything really and it’s set there. The basement is still haunted and the upstairs is just as we left it. I still see my bright yellow room with the shelf bordered windows, incense and candles, and friends pictures everywhere.
Leaving that place was hard and I remember it vividly. The night before I just kept walking around the driveway and up the sidewalk and thinking how if I came tomorrow I’d feel like I was trespassing. I thought how bizarre it all was too because the place had never been anyone’s but mine. And I know that’s how many people remember me. There, in that place.
I still drive by our old house from time to time. I try not to look too creepy but it’s hard not to when I keep creeping passed over and over again. So much about it has changed. The owners told us when they moved in that we could come back any time but I’d have a hard time commenting through a cry session. Plus, what do you say about the country floral curtains I saw through the windows? I mean there are a lot of sad things about a move.
We all have one though. The place that was like the pacifier of our young adulthood. There is just something about home. Or should I say, that home. I moved out of my childhood home 7 years ago but now that I’m married and I have a family of my own, a family that will only grow as the years go by…I think about how I can make it a place that my kids go back to in their minds over and over again.
My last memory there was standing by the huge pine tree at the end of the sidewalk trying to choke back tears and telling my dad, “I’m really going to miss this place.” He just said, “I know.” As we stood on that driveway that he paved himself and we had our last little moment there, I guess we left the same way we started near the beginning. Me, still really just a girl, telling her dad how she feels and him understanding. And as always….