This past week my parents finalized the sale of my childhood home. The evening before settlement we gathered with friends and family in the now-empty house and shared a final meal together in our old home. There were many tears, a lot of stories 1, and a last walk-through of the spaces in which we spent so much of our lives.
The depth of emotion which I felt during my final walk-through caught me by surprise. It’s not that I don’t have a connection to my childhood home, but my relationship to it is a bit different than my sisters. I’ve always felt out-of-place in my family. I love them dearly, and have never felt unwelcome, but my family tends toward “loud and large,” and I’m more prone to small and quiet. I also hadn’t lived full-time at my childhood home since I was 17 years old, when I transferred to LMH and spent two years living out there during that week 2.
But I’m also a person desperate for rootedness, and I suppose I had more roots in that home than I ever actually realized. So, when I climbed the stairs shortly before I left the building for the last time, my heart was heavy when I took one last photo of my old room. It was empty, the last vestiges of my family cleared away. Our era was over, and it made me sad.