Saying, “Goodbye” to a house isn’t something that you think of when you are contemplating a move. There are so many other “important” things that need to be done that saying parting words to an inanimate object are not that high on your to-do list. Yet leaving can be tough for various reasons, and one of them is the realization that the moments you had in it can never be re-lived… special moments, sad moments, happy moments and all the moments in between. We moved into our house 13 years ago… on the day one of the most special people in my life, my grandmother (nan), passed away and we leave 13 years later with two dogs, two children, some furniture, picture frames, lamps and a whole lot of other crap. We aren’t just leaving behind walls and a roof, we are leaving behind a legacy of great neighborhood get-togethers, quality time spent with family members who are no longer with us and a shelter that kept our little ones safe for so long.
Our memory often times fails us; as we continue to stock pile events in life our brains seem to pick and choose other memories to push out. Sadly, we become forgetful as we age and even replace great memories of the past with newer, more exciting times. I thought about walking around and taking some pictures of how the house looks right before I left for the last time, but realized that right now it’s not even our house anymore. The floors aren’t full of muddy footprints from Buster or Max (or pee for that matter) and the walls don’t have the same scratches from the times I idiotically tried to move things upstairs with any help. There are no toys spread all over the boys’ rooms, or Harry Potter books overflowing from shelves. There are no games of full contact whiffleball going on in the front yard and the pool is covered, so it’s hard to imagine it full of friends and family. The basement is empty, its void only haunts me as I think about all the holes, the wall anchors and screws that need to be removed, patched and painted that once supported some of baseball and football’s greatest players and moments. My lawn doesn’t even look the same. I spent hours mowing and raking, setting up rock walls and bricks like only a true Italian can do and without MuggleCast playing in my earbuds, the lawn is just a lawn, not an escape from the everyday hectic and breakneck pace of life.
Life provides us with natural changes, from the seasons and weather… to growing up and growing older. The past is captured in photographs, more now saved in the packed storage of your iPhone than in photo albums. But the time spent in one place and the stories that go along with them will live in memories… or at least in the pictures the realtor took… and those pictures no matter how beautiful will never really be an accurate representation of two adults, two children, two dogs… countless friends, family members, birthday parties, baptisms… going away parties, Halloween bonfires, setting the toaster on fire, crashing the riding mower into a ditch, crashing the neighbor’s riding mower into a ditch. Labor Day Parties and invented games of pool football, Sean’s old school boom-box and Eli showing up at 11:30 at night when everyone is already asleep are just part of the memories now. It was a fun ride, full of laughter, happiness, some sadness, good times and bad times… but as one chapter of our lives ends… a new one begins.
If only those walls on Brandon Run could talk…