As you know, Ryan just came back from visiting his childhood home—a last visit. His parents are officially moving! It doesn’t feel at all real to me probably because I wasn’t there to help box things up and watch the house become bare.
We are so excited for them. So excited. But there are definitely a lot of emotions going on!
I know for me it’s super weird to think that I’ll never walk into that house again.
I’ve only been a part of the family for 12 years and, even for me, there are so many memories there. So many things I am sure I will miss.
Like visiting and meeting the Mecham’s for the first time when Ryan and I were dating, sleeping on Jenn’s trundle bed and being so completely intimidated by Craig AKA Grandpa Mecham (Haha! All the in-laws have said this. I have no idea why. He’s such a teddy bear!) Matt coming home from his mission. Or the time Ryan poured ice-cold water on a teenage Jared in the shower—and throwing Jenn in fully clothed. Lunch at Applebees. Watching Jared’s pole-vaulting meets and Jennifer’s track and cheerleading. Listening to Grandpa jam on the guitar when he’s supposedly “working” in his office. Seeing our dog Annie gave birth to puppies (“Our Dog.” Hear that? LOL. Their dog! Their dog! They felt like our dogs too…) and Wrinkles grew up into this amazing, feisty, hyper dog who would throw herself head over paws to fetch whatever you threw her way.
Then there was the Christmas Grandpa-Great and Grandma-Great came to visit. How Grandma-Great busied herself helping with cooking, laundry, and re-arranging all the cupboards so no one could find anything—but oh how very organized and neat they were! How Grandpa-Great insisted on joining me when I ran to the mall to get Jared’s gift of Victoria’s Secret Cologne. Yes. He went into Victoria’s Secret with me. It was stupendously awkward. Mostly for me, I believe. Afterwards, we sat outside in the car for about an hour, engine running while he told me story after story from World War II and about meeting his dear wife Wanda and starting their family. He gave me advise and sucked me into his world and loved me like his own Granddaughter.
There was also the time when I was visiting Ryan and staying in Jennifer’s room, pre marriage. Nathan was packing up to go back to the school the next day. Ryan was asleep in the basement, and I was reading my scriptures (of all things) on the kitchen table. To be fair, it was pretty late. Probably 1:00 am. All of a sudden Craig wakes up and realizes I hadn’t gone to bed yet, comes bounding down both flights of stairs and turns on all the lights in the basement to find a startled and bleary eyed Ryan. The best part was Nate running after him saying “Dad! Dad! Wait!” knowing full well what he thought was going on. As I was reading my scriptures. At the table. At 1 AM.
I remember coming home after Matt and Em’s Spokane wedding reception, everyone hurrying home to curl up on the couch to watch the pilot of a new TV show, Psych—which ended up being a family favorite for years to come. Them renting a tiny apartment for the summer and going running with Emily every morning (okay fine….most mornings….when I woke up in time), buzzing about starting our college majors in the fall and talking about our brother-husbands. Later on, Matt and Em moved back and Ryan and Jared helped him tear down the rock wall and Matt completely re-did both the deck and the living room.
I was also so excited when Mel and Gary came to visit because it meant we could force everyone else into doing what no one else really liked to do, but we loved (and by “we” I mean Mel and I. We, in no way, includes Ryan. =) —the competitive sport of board-gaming! Killing many zombies and Horde. Eating Sunday dinner on the back porch in the summer and being eaten ALIVE by mosquitos while everyone else was untouched! Jared and Jennifer graduating high school. Jared leaving and returning home from his mission in Finland.
Then, of course, there was the time I forced everyone to be my patients through dental hygiene school and they single handedly made it possible for me to pass (They love me. There is no other explanation. Why else would they endure a three hour, snail-speed dental appointment every 6 months for 3 years?).
After college in Spokane, we sold and packed up everything we owned, waved goodbye to friends and family, and moved to my home state of Colorado. We were so excited for what came next and I was surprised to feel my resolution breaking as we pulled out of the driveway, feeling that familiar sting of change and grief peaking over my eyelids and stealing down my cheeks.
That house was such a huge part of my life. I know it wasn’t my house and that Ryan’s memories far surpass mine. I know it’s not where I grew up or where I spent most of my time but I did an awful lot of growing up there too, married and all.
When I am in those places where memories pop up on their own, over time it almost feels like they reside there, like their life-force is somehow infused into the walls and I wonder if we will ever feel those things again quite as vividly, remember those tastes and sounds and laughter quite the same without the walls to hold them in.
It does feels so much like losing something—and yet not.
What are walls? Of course those memories will not be lost (as evident by the “Where’s Jared?!” story that has never lost it’s grip on the family). And of course we will have many, many more happy and ridiculous memories together.
But, for now, I’m taking some time to be a little sad, allowing myself to feel a little worried, investing a bit in remembering all the love we experienced there, and wondering all those things we wonder when change is looming.
So goodbye blue house! We’ve loved you!