Monday, April 2, 2012

House for Sale

Last weekend, I was sitting inside my mother’s house, where outside on the front lawn an “Adashun Jones” real estate sign is pounded into the ground. Looking around me and soaking it all in, I internalized how this was likely one of the last times in this house.

Down the road, the neighbor man also has his house marked for sale. Being best friends with his daughter growing up, both homes are where I remember spending my childhood. Back and forth between these two, I used to pass, going to his home for grill outs and car trips, and back to my house to play with our American girl dolls and frolic in the yard with our kittens and cats. Summers were spent biking around the block, running and screaming in our swimsuits through the water sprinkler, swinging on the swing sets, batting baseballs in the yard, going for treasure hunts inside the houses where my neighbor friend and I had mapped out the land, choreographing dances and performing them while her dad taped us on video. In the winters, we'd sled down the snow mounds. In the fall, I'd rake leaves and work in the yard. In the spring, my mom and I would plant flowers and vegetables in the garden, which we'd weed all summer long.

Funny, how the memories seem as rich outside as inside. Maybe that's why they say, "these are our roots."

Twenty-five years worth of memories are tucked into the corners of my mother’s home and the neighborhood. I have a fondness for the trees that shaded me on hot summer days, their leafy branches rustling in the breeze. The trees are the witnesses of my childhood pretenses, my milestone graduations, my first loves, and my college returns home. They have stood over me, sheltering me, and beside me, comforting me, through the thick and thin of becoming an adult.

This spring, romance is blossoming everywhere. My mother who's been widowed for 22 years is getting married. What a story it is! She is marrying the neighbor man, the father of my best neighborhood friend and the man who is probably the closest father-figure I have ever known in my life. They've lived two houses apart from each other for longer than I've been alive, and love sprung last year. We celebrate their wedding at the end of this month, April 28! It happens to be one day following my dad's death in 1990. Like the miracle of Easter Sunday, sorrow turns to joy as we roll away the stone of grief and loss, seeing dark nights fade into sunrises.  As we sell the old, we make room for the new. The two shall become one. These houses of memories shall be stored in our hearts and every goodbye beckons a hello.

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