Thursday, September 1, 2011

Old Place, New Family

As we began moving to our new apartment a few months ago, I wrote a piece called The Echoes We Leave Behind. I wrote about how I believed that every family leaves echoes when they move on to a new home. I walked room to room recalling the fond memories we had made there. It is a piece I am very proud of and it has helped to document the journey that our family has taken.

Since we moved, we have watched our place remain empty. The first of every month comes and goes and it remains empty. Until about two weeks ago, they began renovations. We knew that our echoes were being replaced. It would no longer resemble the place that we called home for so long. We also knew that someone was moving in. In someway, we still had an attachment to that place and living across the street from it, well, we never really separated. It was our first home, our son's first home, many firsts in our life took place there and that is not something that is easy to let go of. We were offended that someone else was moving into OUR home.

Then last night as we sat on our new balcony, having coffee after dinner, we saw the bathroom light go on, then the kitchen, then the bedroom. We saw people feverishly cleaning and begin moving things into OUR home. I'll admit, part of me was sad. I will always think of it as our home and our home was being invaded by intruders.

To be nice (and curious) my husband went over to introduce himself and welcome them to the neighborhood. He explained that we used to live there and was wondering if they had done a full renovation for them. The mother of the couple nicely invited my husband up to see what they had done. Bad idea!!! No sooner had my husband walked down OUR stairs, was he calling me. They ripped up the kitchen floor that he so perfectly put down, the cabinets were new and there was now a dishwasher. Yes, the floor was a big deal!!! My husband spent an entire Saturday laying that floor, meticulously making sure that each tile was perfectly lined up. It was only peel and stick tiles, but it made my kitchen homey and made me happy. After all the years that it was there, not one tile ever cracked, lifted or shifted. And now it was gone. OUR floor was gone. WE were gone. The personal touches that we added to make it OUR home were gone and with it left the echoes that we left behind.

In some way knowing that someone else wasn't walking on MY floor in MY kitchen helped me to mentally and emotionally make the separation from old place to new place. It has ignited a fire to start buckling down and making OUR home OURS once again.

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