Last week we closed on the sale of our childhood home.
It was bittersweet.
There are so many memories and stories behind this house I felt like I wanted the new
homeowner to know a little more about the house and how special it was to a lot of people.
So, I penned this note.
I may even send a version of the letter to them. (I just happen to know their address.)
Dear New Family,
As you start this new chapter in your life and move into your new home,
there are a few things I would like you to know.
Your house was built by my parents 60 years ago when dad was only in his twenties.
My parents happily raised their family of 5 kids in this home.
This small abode has held a lot of love and was the last home for each of my parents.
Dad lived here in this house until 3 weeks before his death at age 86
and for 5 quiet years by himself without my Mom.
So…as you settle into your cramped little kitchen,
I want you to imagine my mom cooking dinner each night for a family of seven.
(Although I won’t say she never complained.)
And as our family expanded and grew she would host weekly Sunday
dinners for up to 20 people and then some.
Because when it came to my family there was always room for one more.
When you sit in your living room and decide the best way to arrange furniture.
I want to tell you there once sat a piano that taught all 5 kids how to play.
The one and only small bathroom with the odd blue bathtub,
there used to be a blue toilet and a sink to match.
And…usually someone standing outside waiting their turn.
Those small little bedrooms, I’ve slept in them all.
The bigger one in the basement, you didn’t get that room until the one ahead of you
got married and moved out.
The large basement laundry room with the vintage checkered floor, those are vintage 60’s
original and used to be mom’s first kitchen while the upstairs was being built.
Dad took his time building this house trying to pay for materials it as he needed them.
(They lived the first couple years in the basement.)
The giant old maple tree out back with the swing isn’t as old as you might think.
It’s only around 45 years old.
I thought until just a few years ago that I had planted that tree.
Only to find out that mine had died and Dad had replaced it with that one.
When we were kids we played all summer and fall in the woods behind the house.
Back then there was no homes and we thought they belonged to everyone.
In your small little yard, it wasn’t unusual for it to hold half the neighborhood kids.
Mom would pass out Kool-Aid and Dad was the one who would fix things that broke.
I heard through my niece that you have a little girl.
It makes us happy to know there will be kids living here again.
Dad always said some little family will need this small house.
We also want you to know it was really hard for us to give up this place,
because while all five us kids all have homes much larger than this one,
we will always consider this our very special home.
It will always hold a special place in our hearts.
So as you learn all the nuances and get used to its smells,
we hope this home will bring you as much love, faith and laughter
as it has brought each one of us.
the middle kid who loved it a lot
P.S. I signed my name in the attic.