family, life

Family Transitions

The house where I grew up.
The house where I grew up.

My mom has only lived in two places since I was born … the house I was raised in, and the house she moved to after I left the nest.

The second place, a townhouse, was where I visited once or twice a year after I moved to Florida. Even though it was not the house I grew up in, it was home to me. It was still in my old neighborhood, still near all of my friends and family, especially Mom.

The street where I grew up.
The street where I grew up.

This past weekend, she moved to a senior apartment complex. She needed to downsize, so my mom, brother and I went to the townhouse to go through some last items left. Was there anything my brother and I would like to take?

I’ve been so relieved that Mom was going into a senior community where she will have support with her health issues, that I never thought about the change. Mom is relieved too and seems perfectly satisfied with this change. She used to read my blog, but she doesn’t have wi-fi in her new apartment. Maybe she’ll read this eventually and learn my secret.

When I was alone for a moment in the townhouse, I found my eyes moist as theyย  scanned the barren rooms. An ache twinged in my heart and salty drops streamed my cheeks. I wasn’t expecting to feel what I did. Memories surrounded me, and it was time to say goodbye to the place where they happened. I don’t know why it hit me all of a sudden, because I never felt this way about my childhood home.

Perhaps it was something my mom said when we were there going through things. Her grade-school aged grandsons were there, too. Mom was smiling as she watched them pick out items to take. She said, “I’m glad they’re taking things that will always remind them of their grandma.”

I realized that my own home surrounded me with things that reminded me of my grandmothers who were now long gone.

Nana and my heart dog, Piezon. Both now gone.
Nana and my heart dog, Piezon. Both now gone.

During my adult years, Mom’s home became the center hub for everyone to gather when I came to town. My grandparents came over. My brother and cousins came over. My friends came over with their little ones who are all grown now. Despite my parents divorce, even my dad came over, and we all got along. Everyone was happy when I came to town. We had wonderful times there.

Mom welcoming us at the door of her townhouse.
Mom welcoming us at the door of her townhouse.

It also signifies the passing of time … the passing of life.

I’m fortunate to live near them all again, and we are making new memories in MY home now. I’m not far from Mom’s new place. As I told her in her Christmas card, wherever mom is … that’s where home is.

While this post is a story about my life, it’s not about me, but about family, change, memories, grief and loss. Have you ever felt a sense of loss when things changed or when saying goodbye to a home full of memories?

 

20 thoughts on “Family Transitions”

  1. I am glad your mum was happy with moving that she will get the care she needs. I am also happy that she had the pleasure of seeing her grandkids get things that mean a lot to them and will remind them of her. All the best to her.

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    1. Thank you, Zambian Lady. We are all glad too, including Mom. She’s very happy in her new place making all kinds of friends. Thanks for reading about our transitions.

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  2. This is so true. My mom has been mulling leaving my childhood home since my dad passed but it is all too much for her whenever she starts to move in that direction. I know that the places that mean the most to me in this world are those places that people I loved either inhabited or loved. Some places can almost make me tear up because they remind me of someone who is important to me. Often it takes me off guard because it was “their place,” not mine.

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    1. Hi Rachel. Thank you for sharing your emotional attachments and experience with places. It took me by surprise, because I wasn’t expecting it. It appears I’m not alone.

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  3. I did feel this sense of loss and time passing when I had to clear out what was the family home when my mother had died – it’s hard to know you’ll never go back there when you’ve lived so much of your life there.

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    1. Thanks for sharing this, Andrea. It’s even harder when you have to clean out because you’ve lost your parent(s). I’m fortunate that we moved my mom out of the townhome while she’s still with us. Still sad to say goodbye, but we find ways to move forward.

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  4. Oh, yes. And it was never the obvious stuff that triggered a reaction.It was always something, as you said, surprising or little that set me off on the road of remembering and feeling the loss.

    I have found, though, that hanging on weighs you down and makes you somehow less open to the new opportunities awaiting you.

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    1. Hi Lorna. It’s strange how that loss can creep up without us expecting it. It was a momentary feeling, and I was surprised by it. We’re certainly looking ahead. My mom is doing well in her new place. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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    1. I understand, Angela. Even though I didn’t really care for where we moved, I knew our lives were better where we were, too. We were settled and doing well, but it never felt truly like home.

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    1. Hi Joy. It’s strange that my childhood home didn’t affect me like my mom leaving the townhouse. Thanks for the nice comment about my mom’s move. We’re all pleased with her new place.

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  5. I’m happy to hear your mother is settled into a place where she’ll be taken care of, Lori. My family will be facing a major change, similar to what your mother experienced, in early spring. Change is so hard and something I’ve tried to fight all of my life, but I’ve turned this over to God. Wishing the best for your mother.

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    1. Thanks for your good wishes, Jill. I actually don’t mind change, until it hits me that there is also a goodbye. Good luck with your family transitions.

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  6. Since childhood, we moved so often, Lori, I never connected to any one home. My roots became portable and home is wherever I am for as long as I’m there. Over the years, many of them. New York City has become home, country, identity to me. I’ve often said if I had to be a citizen of any place other than my birth country, I choose New York City. A couple of years ago, NYC started offering the IDNYC in an effort to help undocumented city residents open bank accounts, get library cards, and participate in the civic society of New York City. We, my family, got ours immediately and use it proudly whenever we need to present an ID. ๐Ÿ˜‰ xoM

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    1. As you read here, I lived in one place growing up, so I can’t imagine moving a lot as you did. Of course, the big move to Florida was a huge change. As you know from reading my blog, I was homesick for all those years away. I feel the same way about my hometown area that you do about NYC. Have you been in NYC for many years now, Margarita?

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  7. Change can be hard to deal with sometimes, but things always settle and the trauma subsides. I know what you mean about revisiting home and all the things that trigger memories. It’s a tough one. But life goes on and just take a different turn in the road.

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    1. All in all, this change is a good thing. We’re moving ahead, but the goodbye surprised me with emotions I hadn’t expected. Thanks for your input, Anneli.

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