Our old home
For more than 7 years, we called our old house HOME. We had that house built back when we were pregnant with our first child, and when we moved in she was only 3 months old. We then had 4 more children before deciding it was time to move on and begin fulfilling our dream of living in the country. But in order to say hello to a new life and dreams fulfilled, we must be willing to say good-bye to what was. And so it was that after weeks and weeks of list-making, organizing, packing up, and making multiple trips to the new house with boxes and furniture, we went to our old house, all packed up and empty, and said our final good-bye as a family.
Wow. Talk about bittersweet.
For awhile the kids ran excitedly around the house, while David and I gathered up the last random things lying around that we needed to take with us, took out the trash from the move, and took pics of the house one last time. Then it was time to say good-bye.
We called all the kids into the empty kitchen/dining room area, where we had shared so much of our family life. We stood in a circle, held hands and prayed. We thanked God for the blessing that the house was for us all these years, for all the wonderful memories that it held for us, and thanked Him that another family would now be able to enjoy it and make memories of their own in it. And then, we all turned to go.
As we pulled out of the driveway, I asked the kids if they were glad that we came back one last time. They all shouted YES! Except Abby. She said, through her sudden tears, “Well, kind of glad and kind of not.” When asked to elaborate, she answered, “Well…kind of glad because when we were here last all of our stuff was in it, so it was hard to imagine someone else living here. So I’m glad because it doesn’t look like OUR house anymore, and it’s easier to say good-bye then. But kind of not glad, because when we were here last time we hadn’t even seen our new house yet, so there was that excitement to look forward to. Now we are leaving our old house, and we’ve already been to the new house, so it’s like there’s nothing to look forward to now!” And with that, she burst into tears while trying frantically to wipe them away. My big girl. I am so thankful for such an articulate child who is sensitive enough to really FEEL things deeply, and I am thankful that she usually feels safe enough to share her feelings. I hope that is always true. I assured her that what she felt was totally ok and normal, and that I sort of felt the same way too. But that of course we had plenty of things to look forward to in our new house and property! But when you are feeling melancholy about something, there is usually nothing that can cheer you up, so I just let her have her sad feelings, and I had mine as well.
So that was that. We said good-bye to the house that was our home. Now it belongs to another family. And they will call it their home. And slowly this new house will start to feel like our home too. In fact, I think it has already begun to take on that indefinable “home” quality. But not so fast. First let’s say good-bye one last time. Prolong the inevitable. The agony. The melancholy. Then we can move on. Really.
Good-bye Family Room -
Our old Family Room
With your flashy red wall, obscenely large wall-mounted television, beautiful fireplace and carpet that used to be cream colored (as only parents of exactly zero children at the time they chose the carpet color would pick) but is now what can only be described as mottled. So many family movie nights. So many at-home-date-nights. So many bible studies. Cold nights warming by the fire with hot chocolate.
Good-bye beautiful Finished Basement -
Our old Finished Basement
With your wall-to-wall built-in bookcases and desk, fireplace (because it was SO COLD down there in the winter!), home school area of most families’ dreams, toy bins, exercise machine collecting dust lately, and nice living room area, guest room and extra bath. Without you and your ability to store thousands of toys, books, games, and art supplies, we would have been buried alive upstairs long ago in all of our children’s stuff.
Good-bye Nursery -
Where I rocked 5 babies to sleep countless times. (Sob). Also, let’s not forget – when we finally had a boy (after 4 girls!), David re-did this whole room, and did not allow me in it until it was all finished, chair rail and all. Whatta man.
Good-bye Girls Room -
The Girls’ Room
Where my princesses laughed, talked, told stories, were read to, went through millions of changes of outfits, and occasionally even slept.
Good-bye Kids Bathroom -
The “Bug-Out” Bathroom
Where my creative and talented husband drew and painted all those bugs FREEHAND on the walls to match the cute bug theme on all the bathroom stuff. Impressive, ain’t he?
Good-bye Master Bedroom -
Where all the magic happened. ‘Nuff said.
Good-bye Master Bathroom -
Oh how I loved you, master bathroom. With more ceramic tile than you could shake a rug at, and that wonderful corner soaking tub. And you were bigger than many people’s bedrooms. But your see-through glass shower walls and door… well, there are few times in my marriage that I will admit to my husband that he “told me so.” But I give him full credit for this one. “Bad idea” he said, back when I suggested it. “Oh but honey, it will look so good! And I’ll take responsibility for keeping it clean!” Yes, darling, I can admit it. You were right. I am pleased as punch that there are only shower curtains in our new house – no shower doors whatsoever!
And last but not least…Good-bye Kitchen and Dining Room –
Kitchen and Dining Room area
Here is where we spent most of the last 7+ years. I know I certainly did. Cooking, baking, cleaning, serving meals, setting tables, laughing, praying, fellowshipping with others, doing school, doing art projects, coloring, puzzles, playing games…you name it, it probably happened in this room.
So much love. So much life. So much time. Invested here – into our marriage, into our family, into the little ones who will be gone too soon. This room is where we did most of our living in this home. And it was in this room that we said good-bye, and God bless.
Thank you, Lord, for the blessings. Our cup runneth over.