This post also appeared on My Big Jesus.
A couple of weeks ago, my family and I traveled to my hometown for an end of summer visit with my parents. It was a normal trip – we played in the pool, saw my grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousin, ate at our favorite restaurants and generally relaxed. But there was an undertone of sadness, or maybe nostalgia, throughout my week.
You see, my parents are building a new house, and moving out of the one I grew up in. We moved into that house when we first moved to what I consider to be hometown. I was 7 at the time, and so it’s the only home I remember very well. The house is too big for my parents, as well as the land it sits on, and the effort that taking care of a pool requires. My brother and I are planted firmly (or at least I am) elsewhere, and only come back for a few days at a time. So they’re downsizing, and I don’t blame them.
But still, I shed a few tears throughout the week, thinking of coming “home” the next time, but not to my home. Sure, I’ll be coming back to the same town, the same restaurants, and the same people… but it will feel strange to pull into a different driveway, and sleep in a different room. I still sleep in my childhood bedroom when we go, even though now it has a king-sized bed and my husband sleeps in it, too.
All in all, I’m glad we went down one last time, to the home I have loved so well, to let my kids swim and play, snuggle in my mom’s bed in the mornings, and wreck the driveway with chalk drawings. I’m glad I got to ask for a few things to be saved when they were packing up, and to make sure there were pieces of my childhood heart that weren’t thrown away. A lot of life has happened in that house, and I have so many memories tucked away there. The perfect last week there was like a promise from the Lord that even though the house wouldn’t be there for me to visit, my memories there won’t fade.