I just got home from a strenuous day of moving. Today, after more than 35 years, my mom moved out of my childhood home. With the help of movers, we hauled boxes, driving and back and forth until everything was secure in her new abode. Today we unpacked dishes, agonized over where to put furniture, and fought to make the cable work correctly.
When you've lived in the same house for over 35 years, moving is a big change.
Over the past year or two, my mom came to the decision it was time to downsize. My sisters and I have been part of the process, supporting Mom along the way. The decision does not come without a lot of difficulty and emotion.
As I shared in a recent post, this is a house whose walls hold stories of love and loss, marriage and divorce, abrupt endings and new beginnings. It is where my mom, like a phoenix, rose from the ashes and redefined her life. Here she worked hard, grew stronger, and victoriously overcame some of her biggest life obstacles. Yet, interwoven into this tale of triumph are bittersweet memories of a life long gone, of a woman she used to be.
Today my mom not only left behind a house, she left behind a scrapbook of her life.
One of the reasons my mom was able to let go and enter this new season in her life is that I agreed to buy her house. Hubby and I worked hard to save the money to do the transaction, which took place just a few days ago. I am, once again, a homeowner. And my mom is creating a new home for herself in a place just a few minutes away. There is comfort for her knowing that the home is going to someone who understands the history, someone who can appreciate it as much as she does. And, she can visit whenever she wants.
The process has been strange for me. I'm simultaneously excited to start writing my own stories within those walls, but mourn the life that was. I mourn the loss my mom is experiencing and walk alongside her as she makes the inevitably strange and exciting and sad transition to her new home.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the front step of the house, thinking through the impending move and reminiscing over the many memories our home has given us. I wondered if it would be strange to make it my own. Could this house ever be "ours?" Or would it always be "hers?"And as I sat there, with the sun setting off in the distance and my daughters joyfully running around in the amber twilight, I was overcome with this thought: Love grows here.
Here in this house, I was born into love. I was raised in love. After my parents divorce, my mom rebuilt a life in love. Living at home after college, I fell in love. Over the years, we celebrated holidays in love. And now I have the opportunity to begin the cycle anew, raising my daughters in this home of love.
This home is where love grows.
I made a vow to myself right then that I would honor my mom and carry on this tradition of love. The girls and I commemorated this new journey by adding a personalized garden stone from Personal Creations to our front yard.
I love this special, personal touch to our flower bed. It's an ebenezer of our journey so far and where the new chapter of our story begins.
As a way to thank my mom for passing on the torch of love to me, and to commemorate the start of her new story, we shared with her this beautiful Guardian Angel Tree from ProPlants.
It's a sweet sentiment, giving her well wishes and safe journeys.
Love grew here.
Love will continue to grow here.
This is what it means to be home.