Life goes on, but memories remain


The lyrics of this song drifted through my head while sorting through drawers of endless stuff which makes up a home.
This house of ours, the place which has been home for the entire course of my children’s lives, is packed up in boxes of all sizes. The ink is dry on the deed transfer and it soon will be home to another family.
New family. It is good to know we left this home much better than we found it and it is a beautiful house for a new family to enjoy, a place in which to begin making their own memories, hopefully for a long, long time.
I walk through this now-empty house and recall the day we finished the wallpapering project for the new baby’s room, waiting anxiously for my first baby to arrive. I remember tiny Cort lying in the white bassinet in the corner of that room. We had so much ahead of us and everything felt magical, our lives so filled with joy.
I see where Caroline’s crib once sat and hear the echo of her happy morning calls to let me know she was awake. It seems that child never cried – she woke up happy and went to bed happy, always playing with her little dolls and filled with such peace.
Miss Murphy. Everywhere I look I see Miss Murphy, the wonderful dog who was very much a part of our family. I recall her looking after my children as they grew bigger and stronger, always taking her job of guarding them quite seriously.
I recall Murphy’s look of puzzlement when we first moved back in to this house after the fire, much of the carpet replaced with linoleum. Miss Murphy walked across that floor looking perplexed, listening to her own nails making such a racket and she moved as if on ice.
She finally just stretched out and looked up at me with a look of utter disdain. “What have you done?” she seemed to ask. Her brown eyes were so expressive that it was amazing how we could read just what she was thinking.
We miss her still.
Hard to say goodbye. It is hard to say goodbye to a house, so filled with life, so brimming with memories. We welcomed friends and said goodbye to others, including Miss Murphy, within the walls of this home.
We look through pictures and realize that from now on, there will be an amazingly different back-drop to every photograph we take, both figuratively and literally. Our life is changing.
As I close yet another box and tape it shut, I realize this is the last one to be packed. Goodbye house. This long storybook has ended.
A new chapter, in a new setting, opens tomorrow.


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.