I just got home from a house closing.
My parents’ house, as a matter of fact.
The house I grew up in for my first eighteen years of life.
The house I’ve co-owned with my four siblings since my parents died.
My childhood home.
Two Main Street.
The closing was complex as only closings can be (my brother whispered to me that he’d shoot himself if he had to do all the paper work the lawyers were doing and I concurred) and went on for 2.5 hours. Finally, my brother handed the nice couple at the other end up the table the key to the house and I was handed a check for one fifth of the purchase price, twenty thousand dollars.
And it was done.
I left the attorney’s office and drove by 2 Main Street, just to allow the moment to take hold. Hidden in the dark of the winter night, I watched from afar as the kitchen light popped on and the new owners must have celebrated the birth of a new version of their lives togther.
And in the moment of that birth, the last vestiges of my childhood died.
I realized that I’d never smell that sweet musty smell of the attic again. I’d never again sit on the front stoop and just watch the traffic, trying to guess the color of the next car that would pass. I’d never shoot another basket in the driveway (and over the years I shot well over 100,000 at that old rim). I’d never again sit on the back porch on a summer evening with my parents, enjoying a cocktail, their company, and a breeze.
That time had come to its end.
My father has been dead for seven years; my mother over a year. It’s not like I didn’t see this day coming. Or want this day to arrive.
I already have a home that I love. What’s more, over the past few years, I grew to feel uncomfortable inside the old house. The energy just did not feel good anymore — it was no longer "home" without my folks. And the year-long process of cleaning out and selling a home with four siblings who each do things very differently? Emotionally draining. A burden on my heart.
But there’s no denying it. There was a death in my family today. Home base for five children.The meeting house, the gathering place, the hive. Closed for good.
I do not feel a sense of sadness over this death, but I feel the loss. There’s a phantom pain; the empty sense that something that’s always been as long as I can remember is no longer present.
As I bury my childhood at age thirty-seven, there is a birth within me — the birth of the Adult Me. Drew the Man. Right now, my New Self feels Pink. Tender. Sensitive. It’s not the most comfortable place.
But it’s necessary part of the evolutionary process of being human. Birth and Death. Death and Birth.
Farewell and Hello.