Posted 12/22/2016 10:20 PM (GMT -7)
"I lost my mother last March. This is the first Christmas without her. We are having our last family Christmas in the family home, on Saturday. I dread it. That was the only home I'd been raised in. That, along with missing my mom.......well, I'm struggling."
Your post about leaving the homestead reminds me of my favorite essay. The tone and the words. Here it is:
THIS IS THE HOUSE
This is the house.
This is where we lived.
Here are the yard, the tulips, the bush where the bees swarm in the summer;
The trees we planted young in the hard black ground, the leaves we saw the wind take every fall, and every spring watched bud and blossom.
The sidewalk, which we walked up so many times that even the place where we carved our initials when the cement was soft is worn over;
The doorstep, where we sat in the hot sun shelling peas or braiding long chains of yellow dandelions from the lawn, and where, in a dark spring night, lighted cigarettes glowed as two people sat talking quietly.
This is the house.
Red brick, windows, shingles, it is ours.
The frame has held our growing, our laughing, our loving.
Here we have been sick. We have run away from this place. We have fought and cried and slept and sung "I've Been Working on the Railroad" while we washed dishes in the kitchen sink.
This is where we peeled potatoes and brushed the dog and laughed at cartoons in the "Saturday Evening Post."
This is the door we have opened for our neighbors and locked against prowlers; and to it a man with a portfolio has come, marking us down as "American...with one bathtub... a washing machine...three children born in South Carolina.
This is the place we came to after we had been away.
This house has heard our music...the piano, the phonograph, a faulty clarinet...The Righteous Brothers and Tchaikovsky's Symphony Number 5 in E Minor.
And here is where a first corsage withered in the refrigerator; a boy ran crying into his room with torn pants and a swollen cheek; a large black dog was hit by a truck in the street; a car dug deep grooves in the side lawn; and a girl walked slowly up the front steps with a kiss on her lips.
Here we earnestly repeated "Our Father who art in heaven..." at 8:30 bedtime. Here report cards came and as the seasons passed, mother talked to daughter and father to son.
Our lives have been molded and torn and rebuilt in this house, but it stands apart, unchanged, only growing a little more worn each year.
The house saw us leave and watched those who stayed, aged and slowed down. Nothing of us was left here....
Someday I'll come back.
I'll walked down the street through the spring rain and see buildings where the forest used to be. Our house will look older than I remembered. The wood shutters will be faded.
The bee-bush will be chopped down and the trees that were once so scrawny will be thick, spreading, and the rain drumming through the leaves will make a lonely sound.
I'll walk up the pavement and no dog will run to meet me. I'll stop and stare awhile at the numbers that tell the address to which I came so many times.
On the pavement there will be a half-washed chalk picture and on the doorstep a forgotten dandelion chain woven by a strange girl.
I will lift my hand to ring the bell, but afraid of what will come, consider a moment, and then turn quickly down the street with the rain on my back.
For the echoes of our laughter, our heartaches, and our love will have died with our leaving;
And no one will know how important it all was to us then...the trees, the doorstep, the house and one another.
And no one will care.
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You wrote: "Thanks for letting me vent."
Thanks for letting me post my favorite essay.