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Archive for June, 2013

I came back from my hometown a couple of days ago. While I was there I noticed many things about the house where I lived for 12 years.

It was really quiet.
I remembered conversations at the dining room table.
It was really quiet.
The house looked very much the same way it’s looked for the past 12 years.
It was really quiet.
I found a box of photographs that made me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time.
It was really quiet.
Some of the spices in the cupboard have been there since 1981 when we moved into the house.
I found the cigarette case my mother gave my father in 1979 when he graduated from teacher’s college.
My dad’s university diploma was framed in an inexpensive plastic frame as that’s all he could afford. I have brought it home and will be framing and mounting it properly. It will hang proudly with my university degrees.
I found greeting cards I had given my mother, some going back 30+ years.
Even though the house was quiet, I could hear my dad repeating some of his best-known sayings.
While it was good to be in that house, it no longer feels like “home”.
I realised when I pulled into the driveway of the rectory where I live with my family, that I had arrived home, I had not come from home.
When I went to the columbarium where my dad’s ashes are interred I was startled at the number of neighbours he now has. When he was interred almost a year ago, he was only one of twelve, now all the spaces are filled.
It was really quiet.

Leaving the house and locking the door, it felt, in many ways, like it will be the last time.
And whether or not that is true, I know that it will never be the same in that house again. My Dad is dead and my Mam has moved away. And that’s okay.

At first the silence scared me, but by the end of the weekend it was comforting. It was as though my parents were still there, sitting in the living room, waiting for me to come home from a night class at university.

And yet, as I look around, I know they are not there…at least, not in person.

So whether I go back again, it will never be returning “home”. Because I know with certainty that home is where I live with my family. And that’s a good place to be.

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