Nearly a week ago I attended my monthly "Bunco Club." It consists of a group of young, local women (all mothers, or soon-to-be mothers, aside from yours truly) who get together at each other's homes for an evening of dice rolling and snacks.
Last Thursday, it was held at my old house. The family that moved in has three young children, and they are expecting a fourth in the spring. I felt a bit apprehensive that afternoon; I wasn't sure if I could go. The last time I left that house, it was almost a year ago, and I was in tears. I didn't want to leave that house; I didn't want life to change.
But, change did occur, and I did end up attending the game night at the house. And I realized how lucky I was to be able to do so. Not many people are able to visit their old homes and see what the new owners have done with the place. The new owners of the farmhouse haven't changed much beyond a ceiling fan in the living room and a shower head in the bathroom, but the place felt different. It was warm, filled with soft couches and a snuffling dog, and lots of sweet (and very polite!) children. The house was full.
When my parents and I lived there, it was tomb-like quiet. If I wasn't watching some nasty television show filled with bleeps (something my dad never failed to comment upon), then very little noise filled the air. We each went about our own projects, and we probably could have gone a few days without seeing one another. It wasn't empty of love or life, it was just empty of humans.
The new family that has made my old house their new home is wonderful. My old playroom is now the father's music room, with his guitars hung across the wall. My old bedroom is now their son's room, with a bunk bed suspended in the air. The old hired man's room is now retrofitted with electricity for the youngest daughter. She likes to listen to conversation below in the kitchen through the floor vent. My parents' old bedroom, the one with the pretty pastel roses, is now the oldest daughter's room. And the parents reside in the spare bedroom - the room we never really had a use for.
I feel lucky because I got to see. I got to understand that the house is now warm and wild and full of life. I got some closure, and the ache isn't as deep now.