The time has come. My husband and I are what is commonly referred to as “empty nesters,” no kids living full time at home, and we’ve grown tired of the isolation and long commutes from our suburban subdivision. So we’ve put our house on the market and have been hunting for new digs in town. This is actually the very first time we have considered a home that does not include the needs of the children. It’s been a struggle for me. On the one hand, it’s exciting and liberating, but on the other hand it’s sad to leave behind kids’ rooms filled with memories.
These last several years have been bittersweet in so many ways. Moving to Nashville meant saying goodbye to places and people I’ve loved my whole life. Our home in Los Angeles was brimming with memories of parties, sleepovers, bruised knees and broken hearts. It was the last home where we spent time with my mom. And it was the house we thought we’d live in during our retirement. But I guess the universe had other plans and here we are.
When we first bought our current house, it was brand new. It felt empty, like a totally blank slate. I was certain we’d never fill it with memories and experiences like we’d done back home. The kids were older, in fact two were in college, and the youngest was in high school. Since teenagers don’t usually want parents around much, we rarely saw his new friends, but I persevered and we still hosted holiday dinners and other types of get togethers. The college kids came home for vacations from time to time. We even hosted out of town friends.
In retrospect I now see we’ve made new memories and that our children continue to think of us as their “home base,” regardless of the house itself. Still it’s hard to ignore the passage of time and to close a chapter in our life as a family. There is one thing, though, that I keep in mind. My siblings and I haven’t lived together for decades, but when we are together we continue to share memories of our childhood home. We even refer to “our house,” reminisce about our rooms, our parties, the fights, the good times and the bad ones. And it is through those experiences that we’ve all been able to create homes and families of our own. Home is, after all, in our hearts.
Barbara Dab is a journalist, broadcast radio personality, producer and award-winning public relations consultant. She currently hosts two radio shows locally in Nashville, TN. Check out her website at http://www.zoneabouttown.com.
Barbara is also creator of The Peretz Project: Stories from the Shoah: Next Generation. Check it out at http://www.theperetzproject.com If you, or someone you know, is the child of survivors of the Shoah, The Holocaust, and would like to tell your story please leave a comment and Barbara will contact you.
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