It has been said that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
September 2013, I lost my family home. My parents divorced after 36 years, of which the last 12 years were estranged. It wasn’t a decision my mother made lightly. It took her over a decade to come to that conclusion. Divorce is hardest on young children but no matter how old you are, it does taint your thoughts on life, love, security and the idea of “forever”.
That long chapter in my life had been a rough journey but also one rich with extraordinary experiences, life changing lessons, and truly magical moments. And so, when they finally sold the family home, that had been the place we lived for about 20 years, I felt a sense of liberation. I had been paying mortgage for the house for about 12 years and I was finally free to make choices that were not tied to the past. How amazing!!
I did not know it then, but the next 2 1/2 years to come were going to be an interesting one. One that would shake my foundation to the core yet bring clarity. And now as i stand at the edge of the next step of my life as a HOMEOWNER myself, i am filled with nostalgia for what i once i had. And lost.
With friends and my siblings.. jamming in our old home.
Because when you don’t have a family home, where do you congregate to celebrate meaningful holidays like Christmas and Easter? How do you keep the family traditions you grew up with alive? These intangible things that you once begrudged as a young adult, you now realize were the anchors of your life that kept you grounded.
Perhaps, it is time to grow up. To accept that the things that no longer serve you will organically make their way out, no matter how hard you try to hold on to it, leaving behind only memories and faded photographs of times gone by. For how can new adventures enter into your life if your space is cluttered with the old? I must have faith that life only deals you things you can handle and that all of my challenges and triumphs have prepared me for this next phase.
But i would like to take a moment to remember the good old days, when i had all of my family under one roof – my two younger brothers, my parents when i thought they were happy together (or at least deluded myself into believing it), when we had the best parties, and my mum would cook a feast like noone else could, when there would be singing and music, always music… those are the memories i want. And shall keep. Safe and sound.
Not the fighting, the doors slamming, and certainly not the day you left and never came back.