This is what we do for the joy of the King,
For His peaceable Kingdom,
For a world in despair.
And this is why we bring any hope we can give,
Any bread from the table,
Any touch of His hand.
This is what we do.
This is where we go.
This is why we sing.
This is how we live.
This is who we are.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Bittersweet Day

Yesterday was a little tough for me.  I didn't realize it until this morning because I was so busy yesterday.  Anyway, my nephew called me to tell me that we'd received a firm offer on my mother's house--the house she lived in for 54 years.  We decided to accept the offer, so I assume that with a cash transaction, the house will belong to someone else in about a month.

It wasn't much of an "estate" really.  Actually, it was an E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y humble home--one of those "pre-fab" houses that was built as a shell. They paid the outrageous sum of $3200 for it!  On a 30-year loan!  (I think the mortgage was something like $25 a month.)

Anyway, it was located on a beautiful, huge lot. I was 4 years old when we moved in.  My mom planted a little oak tree in the back yard--it was basically a twig she stuck in the ground.  The tree is now absolutely massive, spreading shade over most of the backyard. (Keeping it trimmed is a major enterprise.)  I loved that backyard.  I spent hundreds of hours swinging on the swing set my dad put there for me.  My mother talked to me about heaven one day by the clothesline while she cut my hair.  (I never went to a barber til I got to college!)  I'll always treasure that conversation.  I was probably only seven at the time.

One of my earliest memories was of my dad (NOT a carpenter) and mother (NOT a carpenter's assistant) attempting to hang sheet rock on the walls and ceiling.  It was actually quite funny at the time.  I think that was the first time I heard my dad use his one and only expletive! (Through the years, he only used it on rare occasions, and he usually said it in a whisper.  An oddly precious memory.)

Anyway, 54 years is a long time and it's sad to think of it no longer being "home."  Lyn wanted me to think about us buying it ourselves, but the house is in serious disrepair, needing loads of serious attention (and loads of money to get it in shape).  I'm ready to say farewell to 1904 West Sunny Street, but it's still a tough thing to do.  Without Mom or Dad living there, it sorta lost its "soul" anyway.  (By the way, we buried my dad 16 years ago this week, so that makes the situation all the more bittersweet.)

Thank God for memories and photographs and the reality of occasional drive-byes in the future.


Kristi said...

I am so happy that we had a chance to go back and see her when we did. And I will treasure the memories of watching Haley running around in the same backyard where you used to run, and Jennifer and I used to play too.

I wish we could've seen Lexi and Emily play in the same yard...

I know it is hard for you....I'm so sorry.

johnsonandjohnson said...

Hey dad---I am sorry that you were/are having a rough time with the housing situation. There are certainly all kinds of memories within the walls of 1904---thankfully, those memories rest with us as well. I am glad that Brian got to visit too---that way we have all shared time in that home---minus Lexi and Emily. (boo)

Don said...

Well, the yard will be there this summer...maybe we can stop and let the little ones have their Sunny Street moment. It would be a good photo op. Hopefully, the house will still be standing in July.

Diane Davis said...

It is so great that you can hold the memories apart from the object. That is often difficult for me. Conflicting emotions are interesting to process... to feel both warmth from nostalgia but then loss at the closure of it all. Great blog post... thanks for sharing this. It makes me want to know more about your family (your amazing daughters had to come from good genes) if you are ever feeling nostalgic again. :)

Heidi said...

I'm so glad you have all the fond memories of your mom and dad and your home on Sunny Street. Seeing a chapter of your life come to a close is never easy... thank you so much for sharing your story with us...