Our Homes Hold Memories

Written by: Ms. O

I am sure by now, many of you have realized that I have some pretty far fetched ideas. It is truly okay with me. I would never want to come off as boring or surface level material. It is the quirky things that set each of us apart.

There are times that I have a hard time getting to sleep. I know that is hard to believe since I LOVE going to bed at night…and as soon as say 4:00…okay maybe 3…I am longing for my bed. When I am away from home I have issues falling asleep…so I need to occupy my mind to relax…and fall asleep. The one practice that works the best for me….is to “walk” my way through the houses I have lived in.

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I lived in the same house from the time of my birth up until a month shy of my 15th birthday. I loved that house. It seemed so huge to me growing up but looking back, I wonder how 7 people co-existed there without killing each other…although we did come close at times. I imagine myself walking through each room…remembering how the room that I shared with my sister was set up….the cellar doors that always gave me the creeps to have to lock at night…the dining room that we had to add the extra “kids table” for holidays because there was not enough room around the big table…my “cubby hole” that was part of the attic that I claimed as my secret place where I spent a lot of time dreaming of my future. When we moved from that house in Delaware to Texas, my heart physically hurt…seeing my childhood home empty…and not mine anymore.

I have those memories of the first apartment as a young married couple…how you try to take three rooms of basic “beige”…and decorate with garage sale items. Of the rent house that expanded our living area…but we still did not have the budget to fill. Those rooms are filled with the reality check that marriage is not all about sunshine and roses…or easy by any stretch. It is one thing to HAVE to learn to live with your family you grew up with…quite another with person you said “I do” to. To make a house a home…it is a commitment.

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My favorite homes are the ones that we lived in when each of my kids were born. The first home we “owned”  we lived in when I had Doug. I bought a rocker, with visions of rocking my baby singing lullabies…when instead Doug made it clear that I was not to sit down with him…so we walked….a lot. I can picture the lay out of the nursery where he slept…when he did sleep…floors that he took his first steps….the bathroom by the kitchen that I could hear him singing and playing in the bathtub as I cleaned up after dinner.

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Skip to the next house we lived in when Mandy was born …and we lived there just long enough so that I could have her. I can still picture in my mind…the bassinet my our bed…that held my baby girl…..a salve to my soul after losing a baby “in between”. As an infant we moved and settled into our home in Midland…. I can picture her surrounded in baby dolls, clothes and diapers in her bedroom, living into her role of a nurturer. That is where she took her first steps…both physically…and metaphorically…showing me that she would be my independent “I can do it” girl.

Those structures that housed us as my kids grew, almost have too many memories to grasp. It is the ebb and flow of parenting that make each room “alive”. The walls that shook from the yelling…I mean discussing…that nominated me for being mean mom of the year. The steps they came down on Christmas morning, ready for the wonder of what Santa left…are the same steps that brought them down for first and last days of school…proms….football/baseball games….cheer practice….it all runs together. Each room is not merely made up of four walls, a ceiling and a floor….it is a collection of moments…days…years. That is what makes it hard when our kids grow up…and move on. The silence that greets you the first time you walk into their now empty bedroom…and you are left with just that…empty spaced and glimpses like film footage of “remember whens”.

Each home that I have lived in, takes on the memories of my life. It does not matter how long I have lived there…I can’t help but wrap life events into the fabric of the house. Maybe that is why it was so hard for me to move…I was so worried that I would be leaving the memories behind.

Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts. Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced.” 1 Chronicles 16:8-12

In this same vein, I don’t ever want to forget the great things that God has done for me. My memory bank needs to be reviewed…so that my soul is renewed in Him. The good…and the bad….are woven together….giving me “footage” of my life with Christ. Daily seeking…not just in the memories that are the foundation….or only the walls in which He hems me in to protect me…but also that the door is wide open for the future He has for me….with Him. Let me glorify the Lord in remembering and also living for Him…each and every day. In my Father’s house, there are many rooms…and I am very, very good with that….amen. Ms. O