So it is true: a house can really help build somebody. Honestly, it’s not the house itself; it is the ones inside of the house that nurtured growth and provided memories. Obviously I am writing in reference to my parents and my siblings, oh and all of those pets that resided in this house as well! I literally just shut the door to 24 years of deep love, screaming fights, a house full of happy memories as well as memories that are nothing short of hellacious.
If I can paint a picture of this house at all, the memories I’m about to write act as the colors of each brushstroke which create, thus far, the canvas of my life: in the house’s front yard, the dogwood tree (branches seen right in the photo) was planted the day I was born in 1986; then age three, I was taught to swing my first baseball bat, which led to many broken windows from my attempts to hit balls over the roof and I can’t forget about practicing my pitching techniques with rocks (oops!) which led to even more broken windows on the house and to my parent’s car; to driving my mothers Buick into a pile of bricks in the back yard at age four; to age five after watching an episode of Unsolved Mysteries, I called 911 repeatedly when (to what felt like) ten to twenty cop cars show up outside our house and the officer questioned me as I am held in my mother’s arms; to an attempt to help build a tree house with my father and swinging the hammer which took me overboard sliding down a tree face first, giving me my first black-eye that helped welcome me into my kindergarten class! This house held many spend the night Barbie parties and older sibling house parties to which I felt like the cool, hip, little, cute sister who received attention from older teenagers. But as I grew out of my teeny-bop years and into my thirteen and fourteen year old stages, many arguments and door slamming happened on my selfish part, while my mother unconditionally loved me through those terrible times in my life. In this house, I was able to experience my father’s weekly barbecues and amazing Sunday brunches as well as the dinners that were cooked by our “every meal deserves a stick of butter” mother, which we ate while watching Wheel-Of-Fortune every night. My father worked 6 days a week without fail, maybe taking a total of two/three weeks vacation every 10 years to provide for our family (hard working to say the least)! My mother sacrificed her life and even health to take care of all of us children, taking us to school, practices, music lessons, ball games, cooking, cleaning, etc. How little I appreciate that until after she passed.
I mentioned “hellacious memories”:
My parent’s restroom where my best friend, mentor, and coach, my father, passed from suicide and a year later, in my restroom where my mother’s heart began to fade and she fell into my arms, down to the floor from her cancerous tumor coming too close to her heart, which eventually caused an artery to burst and my siblings and I saw our mother pass from internal bleeding.
How I hate hearing sirens near this house, because I have heard them enough. Little did I realize that this home was not only the home I grew up in, but also the home my parents would die in; this is the nonpareil.
This is the house that I’ve always known. The address I’ve always known. The phone number that never changed. My home. However, “sad” nor “unfair” is not what I think about as I literally packed up what was left inside and shut the door today. SHUT THE DOOR. (Wow) Twenty-four years of this house that has (help build/) built me will now no longer be the home in my life, but this home will always apart of my life.
Too young? Yes, I feel like its too early, but this is the curve ball that was pitched and I’ve been preparing to swing. It is difficult to remain in a state of thankfulness for what I have experienced, for I am still processing and healing, but I am thankful for what I have been given and pray my story can bring hope to others somehow in some way or another.
Every person has a story, wait, scratch that, every person has many stories. It is what one does with those experiences of their particular story that either grows or halts growing in an individual and hopefully promote growth in others. I believe it is through those experiences one finds their voice to speak life or death in/of themselves and to others. . If one never experiences life, the good and the not so good, how will one be stretched? I share and entrust my experiences with you for you to grow in selflessness, humility, grace, compassion, love, and desire, not pity.
I believe more and more that our experiences on earth are bigger than we imagine and whether you have faith in God or not, I challenge you to keep reading. I have faith that what the Word of God says is true: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for our weapons of warfare are not of the flesh but of divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. -2 Corinthians 10:3-4” and that “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).-John 10:10”
I am also encouraged by author Thomas Carlyle’s quote and it is one that I strive to live by: “Permanence, perseverance, and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this that, in all things, distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”
I encourage you to love someone where they are, because you never know what they have been through or are currently battling. I also encourage you to not place blame on (aka judge) what someone is in or experiencing due to their past; more than likely, their current situation has nothing to do with what they have experienced. Once again, I share and entrust my experiences with you for you to grow in selflessness, to grow in humility, to grow in grace, to grow in compassion, to grow in love, and to grow in desire, not to pity.
And as for the house I grew up in, I witnessed my parent die in, and then moved out of pretty much all alone at the age of twenty-four: 815 Marietta, I love ya; Thank you for helping me in this thing called life.