Sunday, May 13, 2018

One Last Visit Home

Well, I'm down to my last couple of watches on this cut-in-half voyage, which is cool.

 I haven't been writing much. I'm getting ready to sit for a higher-tonnage captain's exam at the end of next week, and studying. On top of that, I'm tooling up to work on a small but complex fiberglassing project that will take about 30 hours to complete over the course of a week or two after I finish a woodworking project when I get some free time.

It was  Mothers' Day yesterday and this is the first one without my mom. Hard to believe that she's been gone for 6 months already. I sort of kept to myself yesterday. Not that I was feeling bad, just feeling the changes going on around me, I suppose. A somewhat introspective day. 
 Oh, and I'm 44 today, though I look older and have the emotional maturity of a 15-year old, courtesy of a lifetime spent on the water and in the sun while being a ginger. I weigh 60 lbs less than I did a year ago, and while I have a way to go to get to an ideal weight for me, the end is in sight. I'd kill a man for a cheeseburger, though.

With both my parents passed away now, and none of my siblings interested in living in the B family home, I decided to sell the house a few months ago, and have spent pretty much all my lunch money on making the place ready and appealing to new owners. The house sold after just 3 days on the market, but the intervening processes (inspections, code enforcement, etc etc) has been a shit show to deal with, though I'm given to understand it was actually very smooth compared to the norm in MA.

 At any rate, the closing is in a few days, and I'm tired AF of dealing with it, as are my siblings.

With almost 50 years of memories, the decision to sell the family home was easier than expected, though it certainly has been emotional at times. Without my parents there, the home became a house, and it was a fantastic home to raise a family in... but despite the enormous sacrifices and hard work to keep the house, it turns out that the years of love and warmth didn't transmit into the walls for any of us. Home was the place where my parents were, not the house they were in. Now that they've gone ahead, home for me is where my own nuclear family is, not where it was, if you understand me.  Perhaps one day my son will feel the same way. I've been too busy to really dwell on the impact of selling my childhood home, a place I dreamed of buying for years, to keep it within the B family.

      ... But dreams grow and change with us, and despite my deep and abiding love for dick and fart jokes, I have actually grown and changed. I've always been a person who looks to the future with optimism and makes plans to enjoy it as best I can. 'Itchy feet,' my mom used to say, where I couldn't stay in one place for too long, as I always had something in the works and was anxious to work at it.
  I haven't outgrown my childhood home, but I have changed, turns out. I'm aware that I stand on the shoulders of giants, and might not be as good or fine a person as my parents (but good enough for them to be proud of me some of the time, which is about all any son could ask for), but they gave me a foundation and the confidence to build my own life. The 4 walls of that home contained what I needed, but to live in that house todaywould run the risk of confining me.

 So I don't know what will happen when I hand over the keys in a few days, or the night before, when my brothers and sister and I walk through the house one last time and talk about a half-century of memories. I don't know exactly what I'll feel when I turn off the light, or lock the door on a house that never had working locks until a few weeks ago. I don't know if it'll be a 'goodbye moon' moment or a nervous-making off-come-the-training-wheels moment. Maybe all of the above.

 But you know, I'll have my siblings there. We won't have the house, but we'll still have everything.

        I still sometimes call Boston 'home' in conversation. I don't think of myself as a Floridian yet. But in a few days, my last physical tie to the area will be gone, and several of my siblings are going to follow me south, I suspect. Regardless of how difficult or emotional the next few days will be, my itchy feet have already carried me towards new plans and dreams, and while I'm sure I'll have the odd pained thought about the sale, I also know that I'm not one to spend a lot of time looking over my shoulder. I tend to look ahead.

The old neighborhood


STxAR said...

Man, I can't imagine that. When mom passed, dad was in a big old farm house alone on 5 acres. He couldn't care for himself, much less that place. He let it go to seed in a big way. I helped where I could, but living across the state (Texas), kept me away.

He leased it out to a family, then passed on. None of us could afford to keep up the payments, so it went to the bank. The family home was gone. But like you, home is where my family is. And that is down here in south Texas.

Maybe take a bit of the money and frame up a couple nice pictures of your parents for the "Hall of Memories". I always wanted to do that.

Study hard, go over the rough spots with someone, even if they don't understand what you are talking about, then get a good nights sleep before the test. That got me through Physics, Chemistry and Calculus. Circuits.... eh.... lets talk about something else.....

Heath J said...

Thanks for sharing all that. Hope it goes smoothly, in any case.

Also, many happy returns!