Will I feel homesick for a place that doesn’t exist anymore?
It’s a time I suppose I thought would never come. I’ve only known one home my entire life, and in a few weeks it will no longer be the place I can come home to. My parents are moving soon and they’ve sold their house. While I haven’t lived in my childhood home for years, I can’t help but to mourn it. I was hoping for one more Christmas there. There’s a type of hollowness that comes with the holiday season, and I’m anticipating this season will have me feeling like a tree that’s center has been carved out. There are a million more pressing problems and issues in this world, I know that, but this has me feeling pretty down.
OK so after re-reading this opening paragraph, I’m going to attempt to cut back on the dramatics for the remainder of this post, because WOW. I’m working on find the positive in this (this blog is Positive Publicity, after all. Gotta stay true to that brand name). Most of my family will still be in Delco, and if my parents are going to move to another state, I’m pretty happy it’s sunny Florida.
I’m from the land of Delco, where everyone is one degree away from each other, simply by asking “What parish are you from?”. I can’t help but feel that Delco is part of my identity, and I think anyone from Delco would feel similarly. And knowing that I had a home “security blanket” just a half-hour away from Philly was always comforting. I’ve walked around our neighborhood more times than I can count and everyone in our neighborhood knows each other. Despite all of this familiarity, my hometown will have a different feeling to me now.
While rummaging through the attic, my mom found a poem I wrote for a school project about my room. I’m thankful that Ms. Dawson had us use so many adjectives for this assignment, as I can vividly picture what my room looked like in 2003:
Last week, I went home for one of the final times to clean out the remaining items in my room. Although this was an emotionally exhausting process, I found some truly amazing treasures I hadn’t seen in years (re: holographic Pokémon cards which I hope are worth a fortune). There were still marks left on the wall from the multitude of posters and pictures I had taped up over the years. Standing in a near empty room was when it really hit me like a freight train that this was no longer my room.
Disposing and donating many of these pre-teen valuables was difficult. I’ll never dance en pointe again, yet getting rid of my assortment of worn-out dance shoes was like throwing out a part of me. Throwing out the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of hand-written notes saved from friends and crushes in grade school and high school was the hardest of all. As well as my track trophies, which was the only evidence that proved I was once athletic. So many of these materials items were tied to my identity, and I felt as if I was losing parts of myself (material items don’t determine our self-worth or personality, that’s a whole other conversation).
It’s more than just the selling and moving of a home. It’s a symbol of the passing of time – getting older, people moving on. Our family dog is getting older (God, I will miss you so much Lightning Marie). It’s also a symbol of beginnings and new chapters. It’s weird, it’s all very weird.
It’s also bittersweet. I’m sad about my parents moving, and I’m sad about this home being gone. The place of sleepovers, family dinners, birthday parties, awkward teenage years, and many, many tears and laughs. I was searching for home-themed poems that described how I felt, when I came across this one by Philip Larkin:
Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft
And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was:
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.
Thank you to my childhood home for being my foundation, and thank you for reading <3 (sorry if you’re reading this mom I hope I didn’t make you cry ILY).
I am fortunate enough to have a place to call home. Others are not as fortunate. I’m including some Philadelphia charities to consider supporting this holiday season: