We sold the house today – the one where my younger sisters and I grew up – our childhood home. Overlooking Monroe Bay in Colonial Beach, the house boasts a view of Parker’s Marina, gentle all-day-long breezes, and a steady stream of walkers and cyclists who circle the “point” for a daily dose of fitness or meditation.
I’ve been so involved in the logistics of the sale that it is only now, after the deed has been done, that I’ve begun to reckon with my feelings. I feel relieved to lessen my responsibility, but I feel something else, too. There is sadness and grief over losing not only the place but also the happenings that occurred there. I feel humbled by the memories of sleepovers and family dinners and Christmases with gifts stacked high, by cookouts and first dates, by studying and homework, by fights and forgiveness, by love and joy and outright delight.
And while the cliché, home is where the heart is, may surely be true. It’s just as true that a place can come to symbolize our values and who we aspire to be. Saying goodbye to the place I grew up leaves me unsettled. Will I be able to maintain my connections to my sisters without this central meeting place? Will I falter without the corners of this house that shaped my life and kept me safe? I took one last picture of the house today, but it already looked as though it belonged to someone else.
I will sort and sift through my feelings in the days and weeks to come. In the meantime, I am grateful and assured by my own home, the one where I’ve lived with my husband for 30 years and raised our two sons. On this fine spring evening, we share dinner on the screened-in porch, and then sit back and talk about everything and nothing. Hopeful and content.