That’s how this chapter ends.
Walking out of the home that I thought would be my forever home, with a half empty bottle of dish soap and an old pair of glasses.
The house should be decorated. By now it would be obnoxiously full of dollar store pumpkins and tacky Halloween decorations.
You would have to duck through every doorway so fake spiderwebs and plastic spiders didn’t leave with you.
It’s fall but it’s still hot outside. Bot nowhere near the heat you fill when you’re standing in your empty kitchen, looking around at your now empty home.
Soon it’ll be filled with people looking at it, maybe even judging how we cleaned or how many small holes were in the wall from the numerous things we had hanging up.
I hope they run their hand across it and know that the walls were filled with hanging pictures of smiling kids, the same ones who grew up in this house.
One just a kid when we moved in, who swore she was old enough for her own room but still snuck into her sisters’ rooms at night when everyone was asleep.
That same little grow, now almost a woman. A 16-year-old who met her first love and had her first heartbreak.
Hearts were fixed in this house. With hours of crying on the couch with junk food and her mom rubbing her hair and telling her it hurts now, but oh is it going to be so worth it.
In these same hole filled walls, frowns faded and new smiles were created.
Twin girls turned into teenagers here, trading their Barbie's
for mascara, their school pictures adding more holes into the walls.
Parties were had, pictures were taken, food was shared with friends and family.
Girl Scout ideas were passed around in the living room, Halloween pictures taken on the front porch with lopsided but welcoming jack-o-lanterns. New basketball shoes and softball cleats were tried on in the kitchen. Horseshoes and swimming parties were held in the backyard.
A baby’s first home was here.
First teeth were grown and
first steps were taken.
Now the next steps will be those who are looking into finding a home.
I hope it goes to a family.
One who knows this house was filled with many memories and lessons.
It held us in the days we didn’t think we’d survive, and woke us up to new beginnings.
It came in a neighborhood with loving and friendly neighbors. Kids rode bikes on the sidewalks and everyone waved when they passed.
This house also held arguments.
Fights between teens and parents, the never-ending battle. Fights between partners. Fights between siblings.
But every fight came with a followed hug, like a rainbow after a bad storm. Like the mourning dove you heard when you were a kid; waking up in the early 90’s on a Saturday morning. You laid in bed and listened to the familiar dove call, stretching and eventually making your way out of bed to a bowl of cereal and Saturday cartoons.
Every fight in this house was always fol
lowed by the call of a mourning dove. The call meant a new day, another chance to work on this thing called life together.
When was the last time you heard a mourning dove?
I want you to know, that the call is always there.
After you get fired, when you didn’t get the job you wanted, when you have a fight with your partner, or kid, or parent, or close friend. When a relationship ends, one that you thought would be forever.
After every moment you didn’t think you’d surviv
e, the call is coming, make sure you listen for it.
I couldn’t hear it as I went through every room.
It was silence as I opened every closet and drawer to make sure nothing was left behind.
Running my hand on the hole filled walls, small pricks that once hung finger-painted canvases, painted by the babies that grew into teenagers in this house.
Holes that once held the tacky Halloween decorations and the passed down Christmas decorations.
I hope the new owners of this house see every small hole, and instead of seeing a task to do, they see the hole, that once held a memory, a milestone, a wedding, a new baby, a trophy won.
I hope they make new holes, and fill the home with love, new memories, and the dreaded fights that we all hate but live
Looking around, this house held everything, and made us all who we are today.
And while we may leave a little broken and our family looking a little different, we leave with no love lost, and no hurt feelings.
We walk out of the empty and echoing rooms, closing the door a final time to a wonderful past, standing there with
all that was left to discover hidden: an old prescription and a half empty bottle of dish soap.
And now, I wait for the call of the mourning dove.
What a beautiful sound to remember, and to hear again.