I’m contributing pieces on Family Today and Medium. Follow me below and on Instagram for my quotes. #WomanResurrected On Medium @ColleenOrme Follow me on Instagram @colleenorme Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist #WomanResurrected E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
I remember memorizing my childhood steps.
My mom was sadly unaware this day had come.
As the memories left her – they came towards us.
I felt my foundation crumbling. The door to this emotional sanctuary slamming shut and forever exiling a part of me. Scratch that. Banishing a part of my family lost forever.
More importantly, this was not and I repeat not the way I wished to part with the place I called HOME.
There would be no great reminiscing of late night conversations, family feasts or the ordinary yet extraordinary love these four walls housed.
There would be no time to reflect upon the imperfections which made us all feel the perfection of home.
Instead, we would walk from room to room and pack up the mementos which built us.
The Waterford we shifted as we dusted our way through Sunday chores, the box of a mother’s love filled with cherished notes, and more importantly…just what emotional relic captured a slice of each of our hearts.
Had Alzheimer’s not stolen this melancholy yet love-filled adventure from our mother I wonder what she might have said.
Would she have walked us from room to room, nic nack to nic nack and shared a neglected memory?
I will never know.
But I hold onto knowing she would have been happy we retraced those room the best we could.
We entered with care and discarded nothing without reflection and funny or sentimental remarks.
I now find myself on the other side of goodbye.
It’s time for my children to leave the only home they remember.
The clock winding towards difficult decisions of what will stay and what will go.
Of how they will each capture the essence of what their childhood represents to them.
Will, they chose to keep a sentimental picture, a silly kitchen gadget, a table, a dresser, dishes or some other seemingly random part of their creation?
But of course, none of it is random.
These are the pieces which shaped them.
Does a part of me break internally? Watching them extricate themselves with the world they safely retreated to each day. The little slice of where they alone belonged?
Because each of us has but one home.
The place where the world feels at once sacred and safe.
It may not look the same.
But it feels the same.
And leaving it makes our foundation feel as if it’s crumbling.
As if we will never survive the way we were accustomed to.
Goodbyes are never easy and some are not chosen.
But unlike my mother, I get the luxury of shared reflection.
The great reminiscing of late night conversations, family feasts and the ordinary yet extraordinary love these four walls housed.
The time to reflect upon the imperfections which made us all feel the perfection of home.
Do I wish my children got to say goodbye under different circumstances?
Much the same way I wish Alzheimer’s hadn’t stolen the last few steps my heart would take in my childhood home.
But I find peace knowing as my siblings and I retraced that impossible journey begging to capture it all…
Our foundation was not crumbling.
It was only shifting.
Walls don’t create love.
They simply house it.
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