Recently, I've suffered a great loss. The loss of my childhood home. It was a year in the making; the economic status of the country has been making times rough for homeowners everywhere. Having to say goodbye to the house...the home...that shaped my childhood was harder than I thought.
We moved there in 1986, when I was 7. Having not left home to go to college, I stayed there until I married in 2005. Even after I left Lillian Street, it was still home. When financial contraints forced Greg and I to make huge lifestyle changes, Lillian Street became my official home once again. We stayed there until earlier this year when a fantastic opportunity was placed in front of enabling us to purchase our first home. So, for the second time in 4 years, I packed up and left Lillian Street. This time for good.
You should never have to fight to keep something that was yours for so long. Admitting defeat is never easy, but it was inevitable. My parents were fortunate enough to find a fantastic home in an equally fantastic neighborhood. So, at the beginning of this month, they packed 23 years worth of memories up and left Lillian Street. New beginnings aren't easy to deal with, especially if you dread change. Adjusting is taking a bit of time.
When I think of Lillian Street, I remember summers that lasted forever. I remember pools, and laughter; swingsets and friends. I remember first loves, and first heartbreaks. Family gatherings, and quality time alone. Friendships faded over time, and the neighborhood became a shell of what it once was. For all intents and purposes, we said goodbye to Lillian Street, the REAL Lillian Street, many years ago.
I always smile when I think about how I've "known" that house longer than I've known my youngest brother. Danny was brought home from the hospital to that house, it's the only house he's ever known. I also smile when I think about how I brought both of MY children home from the hospital to that house. For a brief time, I got to share my childhood with my children, and that's something I won't soon forget.
So that brings us to the present day. It's been almost a month since we said good-bye. I say "we" because even though I didn't live there at this time, it was always home. New House, New Beginnings, New Memories. My family is very fortunate that they have a great new house to set up shop in. It's just 3 minutes away from my house, so it's like the old 'hood' in a new location. So, why is everyone still so sad?
As time goes by, the hurt and the sadness will fade, and memories may be less clear, but we will never forget our Lillian. Our house, our home forever.