It’s just a house


A photo of me and Mema, presumably on Halloween.

It’s just a house.

It’s a house purchased in February of 2008, which also happens to be the month I was born. I’ve never known anything more than that house; going to Mema and Papa’s meant going to that house. 

Each visit was an escape from whatever chaotic occurrence was happening at my own house, from the stressful aura radiating from the walls, to a picture-perfect oasis of tranquility. Nothing is wrong while I’m there; the house encases me within its walls and tells me I have nothing to worry about.

There’s always a later, because this visit will never end.

I’m eternally sitting at the dining table, on a Sunday morning, eating donuts. Chocolate with sprinkles. Later, we’ll make waffles and use food coloring to dye them unique colors. Later, we’re going sledding. There’s always a later, because this visit will never end. I’ll drink hot chocolate out of a glass mug decorated with snowmen. I’ll use a bendy straw, too. It may not be the most conventional method of drinking hot chocolate, but it has become my favorite. Maybe we’ll play Trivial Pursuit, or Play Nine. I’ll go downstairs to the utility room fridge and get a blue Gatorade. I’ll glance at the painting above the stairs on the way down. The wooden clock will tick above the mantle, letting me know I’m safe. 

I knew it was coming. It was a block of ice in the back of my mind, freezing the warmth that usually befalls me when I visit. It’s been talked about for years; I just never thought it would truly happen. Hearing that they would be moved out by the end of February was expected, yet so sudden. Hearing a set time and date made the conversations about what they were keeping and not keeping sent a jolt of shock throughout my nervous system. Every fiber of my being wanted to ignore what was happening.

It’s a ‘new adventure’. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great attempt at using meaningless words as a bandage. It just doesn’t help the sense of grief within me. Bandaids don’t fix bullet holes. 

So, I’ll wave goodbye to them from the porch one last time, and I’ll leave behind fifteen years of memories that emit comfort and joy. 

It really isn’t a big deal. I’ll get over it soon.

After all, it’s just a house.