The Houses That Built Me
In 2009, Miranda Lambert released a song about visiting her childhood home and asking the current owner if she could walk around what she called, The House That Built Me.
Recently we moved back into the neighborhood where we last lived with Pete. We had been there several times in the week after he passed away to finish up things. But it had been six months since then. So, when Sebra and I drove around the first time, we were hit with two very big emotions: nostalgia and grief. Earlier this week a friend asked me if memories are hard. Through our conversation, I told her that they are hard because I miss him so much but they are helpful for being grateful for the life we had together.
Since that first drive back, I had texted that landlord who was also a widow. I had just wanted to talk on the phone or grab a coffee away from the neighborhood. I never wanted to meet or weird out the new owners of our home. But when she texted that she’d call the next day and never did, I told myself what I already knew to be true. I needed to walk by one more time, feel all the feelings, and never walk or drive by there again.
Well, I did that tonight. It was all the emotions that I needed to have. Gratitude for so many precious memories, thankfulness for being able to host so many family and friends there, my heart aching for Pete and hard things were around his hospice and dying, and saying goodbye to one of the houses that built me.
In that house, we:
Hosting several holidays with our kids home.
Had Pete’s 50th birthday party.
Hosted several out-of-state visitors and had many meals and campfires with various in-town friend groups.
Had some amazing trips.
Below are some of my favorite pictures from that house.
The last house that built me may just seem like another to outsiders. But to me, it will always be the last place I lived with Pete but also a place where we made memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I think I may go through all of the cities we have lived in and journal the memories we made and the lessons we learned there as part of my grief journey too.