I know, even as I write this first sentence, that I will not make it through this post dry-eyed.
The closing on my grandparents’ home takes place on Friday. After 47 years, the yellow house on Springwater Drive won’t be in the family anymore. I think that’s why I’ve been thinking about home so much lately (you can read my ramblings here and here). Because when it comes right down to it, no place has ever felt as much like home as my grandparents’ house.
We moved around when I was a kid, never staying long enough for any place to really feel like home. My grandparents’ house in Dallas was constant, unchanging, comforting. But now that my grandfather is gone, and my grandmother has moved to an independent living community in Houston, it’s time to let go.
That’s proving to be easier said than done. So many memories are wrapped up in that house. And they go all the way back to when I was a child.
- The endless parade of summer days spent at Pops and Nana’s house, most of which seemed to involve water and Blue Bell ice cream.
- The Christmas I got a Domino Rally set and spent an entire afternoon setting up one domino after another on my grandmother’s round table.
- The smell of freshly popped popcorn – not the bagged stuff that takes two minutes in the microwave and it’s done – but the kind that my grandfather used to make in a skillet. He’d heat the oil then drop a lone kernel. When it popped, he’d add the rest of the Orville Redenbacher jar.
And then I can fast-forward through the memories to major milestones in my life.
- The summer I stayed with my grandparents while I worked at my first real job at the Dallas Arboretum.
- Packing my things to go off to college, thankfully only an hour away from my grandparents’ house.
- The night before my wedding, staying up late and savoring every minute of that special, fleeting time.
And it isn’t just the memories that I carry with me. The details of that house are forever etched in my memory, too.
- The Tiffany-blue and cream window treatments that my grandmother ordered on the advice of an interior designer. My grandfather balked at the price but paid the bill because he would do just about anything to make my grandmother happy.
- The pocket door off the formal living that led to the laundry room. It always felt like a secret hideaway.
- The nail by the back door where my grandfather hung his shoehorn, which I used to hide. Then I’d giggle and yell ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ until he found it.
So yes, I’m struggling to let go. And maybe I haven’t painted the complete picture yet. Because while all these memories are near and dear, I’ve left out the most transforming feature of my grandparents’ home.
Love, always love.
Whenever, I walked into the Springwater house, I felt love envelope me. I was safe, cared for, and loved. (Okay, now I’m really crying!)
So while I mourn the loss of the best earthly home I’ve ever known, I have to keep reminding myself that an even better heavenly home awaits. How do I know? Because 1 John 4:16 tells us that God is love. And we go home to be with Him, we will be enveloped in that same kind of transformational love.
Let’s talk: Have you ever had to say good-bye to a treasured earthly home? How did it make you feel?