I had never thought a change like this would send my family into to such an alienated state of mind. When the idea had begun to whisper in quiet conversation, it was difficult to grasp that it could even be happening. Fifteen years. That’s how long I had spent in that house. As it had been talked about on numerous occasions, the plan to completely leave life as we knew it was never a light subject.
Toying around with the idea that a smaller house was what we needed, started back when I was in about seventh grade. My parents decided to list my home for sale that following summer, and I was engulfed with rage. I did everything I could in order to prevent the move from happening, even uprooting the sign right out of the front yard. Fortunately, things ended up falling through. We were able to carry on as normal for a few more years in the same neighborhood and found satisfaction in the outcome of the situation.
It wasn’t until more recently, my parents were house hunting again. In the spring of my junior year, they came across a little ranch which they claimed, “needed some work”, but they were willing to put the time in. I remember it all moving so quickly. Before we knew it we were scrambling through each inch of the house, trying to clear out everything we owned, by 6 pm. I guess at the time I didn’t realize how much of a change we were all about to go through. My now seventeen year old self, was much more mature and accepting of the transition. The most important thing on my mind that day being, how I could make it in time for a school baseball game. My mom rummaged through her half emptied closet, tears in her eyes as she folded up some of her last winter sweaters. While in the meantime, Dad demanded help downstairs with loading up the car.
It wasn’t until a few days into the changeover, that it truly hit me. The only safe place that ever felt like home to me, I would never see again. My anxiety kicked in around the second night, when I layed in bed and stared through a room that felt nothing but empty, yet so full. This room contained no sentimental value, and was chucked full of unpacked boxes all around me. I could no longer stop the thought of claustrophobia from taking over my mind, with nowhere to escape the mess in this new and tiny space.
After getting settled, I started to adjust a little more and make peace with this new conversion. My mom, however, still struggled with the fact. For about the first three months, I listened to her weep as she missed the memories and camaraderie of our old neighborhood. Her best friend, who had lived right next door for all these years, now seemed eons away. Both she and my dad became consumed with tedious home improvements. They could never catch a break between finishing over our basement, and mending the leaky roof. Things got pricy as the months moved along, and no matter how many hours were put into the renovation, nothing could make it feel like home to us.
As for now I can say that I do believe I, as well as my parents, have found closure in our quaint little house. Although it may never hold the same traditions and comfort, being in this with each other is home enough. Each frustration we share will continue to bring memories forever and form a bond like no other.