Last week I got a call from my parents saying they were going to sell the house. The house I grew up in. The only house I can remember living in. I was shocked to say the least.

Another bombshell. They want to move out by March 1st. THIS YEAR. That’s in less than a week because February’s short.

I was home with them 2 weeks ago and there was no indication whatsoever that they were moving. All the furniture was still where it’s been for year, there were no boxes anywhere, none of our things were packed up at all.

I was so surprised. There were so many questions. Where were they moving to? Did they even have a house to move into? How were they going to move so fast? Did someone already buy our house? I didn’t even know they were in the market to sell.

My parents explained to me that they wanted to turn our house into an income property. It’s part of their plan for retirement so that they can get some income from the rental once they no longer work. Which makes perfect sense. But with their current savings, they plan to rent a house. They’ve found a place to rent already, but with the majority of their money tied up in the house, there’s not as much left to rent a place. Which means some heavy downsizing.

This past weekend I went home to start packing and help my family with the move. It feels so sudden and I felt myself getting really emotional over it. The details in the walls and the floor suddenly felt like they were calling out to me to look at them for what could be the very last time. It just felt so hard to say goodbye. The details of a house do not make a home, but my family has lived in this house for the last 18 years. It’s a lot.

My family has always had a little difficulty showing our emotions. We’re ourselves around each other of course, but showing a lot of emotion is something we’re not used to doing. This weekend was an emotional weekend. We were all spending time together but I, along with my sister and mom, seemed to take a lot of “bathroom breaks” only to come back red eyed and a little sniffly.

I know what we’re all trying to do here. We’re all trying to put on a brave face for each other, because if one of us cries, it’ll set off a chain reaction and we will all cry. And we don’t want to cry in front of each other. We’d all rather save our tears for our pillows by ourselves.

But why is it so hard to just say how we feel? Why can’t I tell my mom I’m going to miss my house, my room, the backyard, the kitchen, and all the memories we’ve made together as a family in it? I can’t even think about it without choking up. I know that once I start thinking about it and really accept it, it becomes real. But what if I can’t confront my feelings about it and come to terms with it before it’s too late? The clock’s ticking and time’s almost up.