Saying Goodbye to My Childhood Home

April 27, 2013 at 9:22 am | Posted in Family Ties, Life and Living | Leave a comment
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It was the clear nail polish that brought me to my knees.  It must have been under that radiator for ten years, back when this was my bedroom, back when this was my home.  As I sit there in the empty room knowing that this would be the last time I would ever cry on that floor, the memories come flooding back to me.

Before my parents had moved there, back when I was too young to remember, I didn’t have my own bedroom.  My parents had an apartment in the Bronx and they moved for a better life and more space.  I would finally have my own room, my own space, but I would have to start my short life over.  This new home would become my stability.  This home would always keep me safe.

Over the years, this house, my bedroom, survived many of my phases.  I remember the nights that my brother and I would knock on the wall we shared together to communicate.  I remember decorating my walls with Absolut and Got Milk ads ripped from magazines.  I remember painting my nails every night to match my outfit.  I remember when I had my parents buy me an art desk.  I remember burying my hamsters in the front yard.  I remember taping songs off the radio.  I remember writing most of my poetry in my room, at my desk.  I remember late night phone calls with boys as I lay in bed, listening to The Cardigans and Sophie B Hawkins.   I remember the glow-in-the-dark stars I had on my ceiling, that were basically useless since I only saw them at night when my glasses were off and they were all fuzzy.  I remember the sound of my dad leaving for work in the morning as that was my signal to get up for school.  I remember my witchcraft phase, my candle phase, my incense phase.  I remember dancing to Paula Abdul on the lawn.  I remember going out on to my roof through my window (sorry Mom and Dad — that was true).  I remember friends driving by, honking their horns.  I remember sneaking out the back door only to be caught coming in the front door. I remember it all.  This was my home from age 4 until now, and even though I haven’t lived there in six years, it was still my home when I had to finally say good bye.

And I try to be strong, because I know it’s just a material thing, but that home holds so many memories.  Living there made me who I am in so many ways.  My memory isn’t really that good and having that tangible place has helped me to hold on.

But it is time to let go of the tangible and let it live in my memory.  It is the end of an era that I have to cope with.  No longer do I have that place I can run to when everything is wrong in the world.  I have to push forward.  If I live a full life, this home will only be the first fraction of my existence and another home will be born at some point.  In the grand scheme of life, I will remember this house fondly as my first home.  But it no longer exists anymore.  Only in my memory.

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