I've used this quote before, but as I edge close to selling my parents' house and things, I have needed to refer back to these words to help me deal with the internal struggle I've got going on:
" The first thing the word home brings to mind is a place, and the next perhaps most crucial thing is people and maybe utltimately a single person." - Frederick Buechner, The Longing for Home
I know it's just a house. And the things in it are just things. They don't define me, my parents, our memories, our life together... but damn if it doesn't feel like they do. Over the past year or so I've come upon so many "things" in that house that make me feel so connected to them although they aren't physically here anymore. Random stuff-- reading glasses, pocket knives, letters, books... the stories behind all the furniture. Everything had a story, or at least a small ancedote behind it. I'm still learning about many of the things in the house with help from family and friends. My parents took great pride in attempting to lead a graceful and meaningful existence, and I have to say, they did an amazing job, even with all their "stuff".
I can still feel them when I'm in that house. Geoff and I laugh about the phantom noises we sometimes encounter when we're there.... my dad snoring in the living room with the 1987 RCA television blaring sportscenter in the background at 2AM....the ever present clink of ice cubes in the kitchen... my mother guffawing at something on the food network... and the fierce bark of Abbey who usually barked at nothing in particular.
Home, for me, used to be wherever my parents were. Then it became wherever Geoff was. Now it is wherever Arlo and Geoff are... but I'm always searching for that first, initial feeling of home that my parents provided for me... and I guess I feel like selling the house will undoubtedly take that away from me in some way.