It’s amazing how much history new carpet, new furniture and a little paint can erase.
Saying Goodbye to My Grandparents Home of 50 Years.
Story by Jennifer Sandy
As I type this out on my phone, I’m sitting in the house where I spent much of my childhood for what will probably be the last time. My grandparents passed away years ago, and my parents and my aunt are selling it. It’s been completely remodeled, and it’s beautiful, but it is no longer the house where I would sit around the kitchen table and talk with my grandparents as the TV played in the background, or the house where I would peek over the couch in the family room and watch my grandma cook dinner. It is now unfamiliar and unlived in. It feels as though I’m intruding in a stranger’s home.
As I walked through the house, despite any trace of my grandparents being gone, I was flooded with memories. Upstairs, in my aunt’s childhood room, I remembered how my older brother and I spent a week sleeping there as our mother underwent surgery to remove her breast cancer. In my grandparents room, I remembered where their bed was and how my little brother crawled into it with them during that same week because he was afraid to sleep alone.
As I sit in the now foreign feeling family room, I see the spot where a portrait of my brothers and I as small children hung above the fireplace until the day my grandparents died. I’m awash with memories of how we spent every Christmas Eve here until I was 20 years old, and how as I sat in in the chair that once sat where I am now, my younger cousins and I would hatch plans to look for Santa.
I see the place where I broke my foot when I was 11, after my older brother jumped off the couch and accidentally landed on it when my cousins, my brothers and I were rough housing.
I remember all the family dinners we spent eating at the giant table in the dining room. I remember my grandmother’s spaghetti and meatballs (sorry every other Italian family in the world, but my grandma wins the spaghetti sauce contest), and how my Catholic grandfather taught me the correct gesture for The Sign of The Cross.
In the kitchen was where I met my cousin, Angiee, shortly after she was born.She was a newborn and my aunt brought her over to introduce her for the first time. She sat her on the table in her car seat, and that was when I saw her. I remember wanting to hold her. I was five at the time, so my aunt made me sit in one of the chairs surrounding the kitchen table and put her in my arms.
In the front yard, we had Easter egg hunts every Easter Sunday for years. My grandma would usually fill plastic eggs with change, or if we were really lucky, we’d find one with one or two dollars inside.
Second to my own house, this is where I spent much of my childhood. I grew up coming here every Sunday. I played here, learned here and got in trouble here.
When I walk out of this house in a few hours, I won’t be coming back. I’ll be officially closing the chapter of my life that this house represented. I suppose that’s how things go, though. The circle of life, I guess. My grandparents are gone, I’m an adult now, and nothing stays the same forever.
Originally published at thesandytales.wordpress.com on June 16, 2015.