Saying good-bye is hard. Good-bye to seven years’ worth of memories. Seven years’ worth of life lived. If there is one thing I can say about these four walls, they have held LIFE.
Last week I looked out our kitchen window into the yard and saw seven deer.
Then I promptly burst into tears.
There is so much wrapped up into this home. This is the home of late nights on the deck with a glass of wine. This is the home of summertime barbecues and wintertime soups and stews. It’s wiffle ball in the back yard, swimming pools and sprinklers. It’s Thursday night company nights and 1:00 a.m. heart-to-hearts with college students. It’s the home where Beth & Dale had their first date and the home where I burst into tears yet again when I opened the door to see her engagement ring flashing.
It is a home filled with laughter, tears, arguments, forgiveness. It’s a home where we struggled to make ends meet and my pride in my husband only grew as I watched him pay others before he paid himself, trusting in the Lord to provide. It’s a home full of “early attic” furniture where I learned to be thankful for the simple things and realize what was truly important.
This is the place we brought all three of our children home to starting the journey of parenthood, figuring out life together. It’s the home of late night feedings and snuggling. All night vigils over feverish little ones. Family worship and bedtime prayers. It’s the home bursting with the noise of imaginations run wild. It’s the home of slipping in the doors late at night with little ones in our arms, tucking them in without even undressing them. It’s hearing Ash pray for Jesus to come into his heart. And it’s standing over bedsides late at night to stare in awe over their features and wonder how on earth we were so blessed to be their parents.
It is a home that has been turned upside down by the brutality of cancer. A home where I have stood in front of mirrors staring at a marred and bald body and wept. A home where Bri’s arms are the only thing I could hold on to, and they were always there. A home where the battle was fought and, Lord willing, won.
It’s the home of deer in the back yard and bird watching. The home of 10 foot Christmas trees and family rituals. It’s pancake breakfasts and steaks on the grill. It’s pizza and movie nights and play doh creations. It’s story telling, jeep riding and chalk drawing in the driveway. It’s rocking chairs and dancing in the kitchen. It’s full of busy days and days of just being together. A family.
Yes, so much is wrapped up in these four walls. We were happy here, and I don’t want to leave any of it behind.
But then I realize I won’t.
I will carry it with me in my heart to our new house… a place that only needs us in it to become a home.
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