My mom just told me that they are putting our house in Memphis on the market come spring. (Loud exhale)
I knew this was coming, it makes total sense for them and for where their lives are right now. And yet I still feel shell-shocked.
And I have no right to feel this way, having only been back twice in the last year. And twice the year before that. I'm never at home anymore...but that doesn't change the fact that home is ever-present for me. The fact that I know I have the same bedroom waiting for me in the same place it has for the last 20 years is part of the quiet you find while exhausting worst case scenarios.
If I'm ever on the run from the law, I will be able to run to the room with a perriwinkle window seat that unfortunately mismatches sage green walls. I can hide out in the same closet I used to lock Brother in. Or nap under the ceiling fan still dotted with (faded) glow-in-the-dark stars that look like a galaxy when the fan is on high. It is my room.
And the kitchen. I learned to cook between that kitchen and the one across the street. I think we can gather exactly the kind of role that's played in my life.There have been mutinously raucous games of Pictionary played at the kitchen table. I have stood at the kitchen counter with a massive glass of milk enough times to account for both my height and lack of broken bones.
I could really go through every room. And my rose garden in the back yard. And the "railroad" our dog Toby dug by wearing down the grass along our fence (R.I.P.). Let's save me some mistiness and you some whiny extra minutes in your day.
My point is that I recognize almost everyone has to say goodbye to their childhood home at some point. And I recognize that just because some very important milestones happened in that house doesn't mean they cease to have happened when my family no longer lives there.
(Much as though that might be convenient.)
No. In a prescient moment earlier in the week, I talked about "having my real home in my physical home." I was raised in Memphis. I live in Chicago now. Chicago is where I (allegedly) exist as an adult. Is this the point when "home" for me becomes where I physically live? Interesting.