Thursday, June 21, 2012

If Those Walls Could Talk

At the end of July, my mom is moving out of the house I grew up in. That's right...the only place of residence I had really ever known the first 18 years of my life. Technically, they didn't move there until I was a year old but I don't remember the other place so as far as I'm concerned, she's lived there my whole life. And now, she's leaving. It's a good change for her. The apartment she's moving to is gorgeous and I'm really excited for her...but it's bittersweet. That house is so full of memories and although it is quite old and needs some serious updating, it has a certain charm about it that I've loved forever and I can only imagine the stories that would be told if those walls could talk...

If the wooden panel walls in the living room could talk, they would probably tell of birthday parties, sleepovers, game nights, Christmas Eves and Mornings spent unwrapping gifts and emptying stockings. They would tell of surprise parties thrown for me and others. They would remember the laughter that filled that room on a constant basis and would tell you that some very happy and blessed people lived there. They also might tell of the rough times, times when tears prevailed over laughter, where hearts were broken, a lie was told, or the family dog sat on the couch fighting for life. Despite whatever stories those walls would tell, you would know there was love.

If the walls of the dining room could talk, they would tell of meals shared, Thanksgiving feasts gobbled up, and party food arranged on the table just so. They would tell of the time I told mom that some turkey she cooked tasted like foot. They would tell of the time I unwrapped kisses for cookies in my "fancy panties" and patent leather shoes. Don't worry, that wasn't recently.

If the walls of the small kitchen could talk, they would tell stories of baking cookies and mixing homemade bread with bare hands. They would tell of a young girl learning how to cook certain things. They might also say that the smell of pizza wafted through that air more so than it should have.

If the walls of the hallway could talk, they would tell the story of each photo that hung there. They would tell stories of a little girl using it as church aisle, walking down it slowly humming the wedding march with her sheet over her head like a veil and a fake flower in her hand. They would tell of the times that angry feet marched down the hall and doors were slammed or when a teenage girl would tiptoe down the hallway after getting home at night to shut her mom's door, the sign that she was home safely if her mom woke up in the night.

If the walls of my old bedroom could talk, oh the stories they could tell. Secrets told to friends, tears cried in a pillow, laughter at silly jokes, conversations with God. They would tell of a mother and daughter sitting on the floor sobbing because for the first time, the daughter had lost her mother's trust. They would tell of a girl growing up, becoming a woman.

If the walls of my mother's bedroom could talk, they would tell stories of tickle wars and deep conversations. They would tell of silly things said when mom was ill and on her medicine that made her loopy. They would tell of the times that a little girl would crawl into her bed with her to be close to her or when a teenage girl would crawl into bed with her after a break up so she could just lay there and cry and feel the comforting hand of her mother. They would tell of the morning that little girl, all grown up, woke up on the day she was to be married, excited and oh so ready to start her new life.

All the walls of that house would have stories to share, some sweet, some sad, some slightly embarrassing. Growing up, I'm not sure I appreciated it for what is was. All my friends had bigger houses with more modern things but looking back, I was so blessed to grow up there. We had great neighbors and I grew up with a secure roof over my head.

I'm excited for this change for my mom but leaving that house and that neighborhood (even as bad as it's slowly becoming) means leaving behind years of memories. But, change is good and I am certain that in this new place, new and wonderful memories will be made and those walls will have exciting stories to tell as well.