It is a very rare occurrence when my emotions take me by surprise. I am usually fairly in tune with them and I can feel them bubbling gently below the surface. But last night on my way home from work while driving past my mother’s old house, the same house I drive by every day on my way to work and again on my way home, the emotion stored within my walls hit me like a ton of bricks. Last night I glanced at the house, as I do every time I follow that familiar road, and I burst into tears.
I don’t know where the tidal pool of emotion came from but suddenly I was flooded with images of moments that had become important memories in my life. Christmases, birthdays, family gatherings and quiet nights spent as a family were at the forefront of my brain. Lingering snapshots of magical kisses witnessed by only the walls upstairs slowly transformed themselves into moving pictures to replay those scenes. That house, the building others would only see as walls and a roof, was my home. It was the vessel that helped create and store some of the most precious moments of my life.
And I do the same with my childhood home. Every so often I feel the pull to drive by and just look at the house that began our journey to becoming locals in this town. It was home to my family and a welcoming second home to many of our friends. It witnessed great happiness and great sorrow, but it was always filled with love.
Although there were many happy times in our second home, there were also moments of great sorrow. Those walls echoed my overwhelming grief in May of 2003 as I told my parents through hysterical sobs that my best friend had passed away unexpectedly. That roof sheltered both my parents as they battled their illness and those walls protected them for as long as they could. That structure, that old building that is seemingly unnoticeable to passers-by, will forever have a large part of my history carved into its frame.
That architecture will always be a part of me. And each time I drive by and take the time to trace the outlines of those walls I will always have an affinity to its design and purpose. It is said that we need to let things go to be happier but I feel the need to embrace those things to stay connected.