A house spoke to me last night.
At first I thought that it was the smell of the summer night or the cicada serenading, that brought me to such a receptive state that is needed when listening to the sounds of life.
We are vaguely familiar, this house and I, but yet she wanted to share with me.
It seemed she had so much to say and needed to spill it all out to me because she knew I was interested.
So many things she shared with the lifts of excitement and heaviness of grief. Childhood giddiness and elderly woes- it all came out...
This house will celebrate it's fortieth year this summer. I clearly remember it being built and the excitement of watching it unfold as each crossbeam structure lifted into place and rooms became clear. I remember Move In day and all the joyous chaos that it brought. But there was so much more that the house had to recount.
The House stated that many children tromped up and down the stairs. Sometimes the cry of a newborn in the night made the house sigh but how she enjoyed the giggles. She told of merry holidays and the aroma of many menus. The House wondered at her strength when groups of people would gather, warmed by her hearth and welcomed by tables laden with food. There were so many words spoken, much laughter and the inevitable tears when a family of seven dwell together.
This night, the House wanted to share it's heart. She gave me a glimpse of every day life, some of which I was familiar. I do remember when babies came home from the hospital to this home. I do remember family gatherings. I do remember remodels and updates. The normal stuff of life this house, this night, she let me feel.
But then, she reminded me of the Sad Day. She spoke of the time when grieving came in torrents and silence. When the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and unalterable change, came to her. The horrible day when the house stopped it's normal function and it paused as it's family, as it knew and loved and protected, would be forever changed as it's owner left this earth to his eternal house.
That day had a profound affect on the house and all who entered it in the days and weeks and now years to come. No amount of tears seemed to compensate the loss. The weeping and pacing and comforting absorbed into the very wood of the home and remains to this very day.
But the House wanted to remind me to keep remembering the joys that made up the majority of the forty years that the house let them call her home. She told me clearly that so much life took place within her walls, that it was hardly fair to draw such attention to the Sad Day. Still, she needed to speak of it, needed to make sure we knew how much it took out of her and those she called family. She wanted me to feel the void.
So, I laid in a bedroom of some child, teenager, young adult, who dwelt there for years, reflecting the sounds, smells, sights of a house well lived in and viewed, ever so briefly, the silent days when grief was born at the speaking of a single word: Cancer.
I drifted off to a dream filled sleep, accompanied by the history of the house and it's story, the sounds of summer and the comfort of family.
Bless and keep all of us as we expose our homes and our hearts to this thing called life...
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