When I was three years old, my parents moved to Collegeville, Pennsylvania for my dad’s job. I can’t say I remember much about Massachusetts, where I was born, but I do remember our first home in Collegeville. I don’t know how long we lived there, but we stayed at a condo in Blue Bell, PA, while our home was being built. I did not know then that the home being built would hold so much of my heart.
I have never been the type of person to get attached to the building. Memories are not housed within walls, they are housed within your heart and the smiles of the people whom you share them with. But, my childhood home has proven to be a bit different.
When my parents first started talking about moving to South Carolina for my dad’s job, I was thrilled for them. I was excited for my mom to explore new places and for my dad to grow within a new company. He was traveling back and forth so much, I was happy that he could finally get some of his time back and spend it with my mom. I did not worry about myself or my sisters because my parents deserved to do something for themselves. They deserved to make a decision that did not involve us girls. However, those of you who might know my parents, know that they cannot simply make a decision without considering us.
It took months of deliberation before they ultimately decided to move. They found a home they loved in a location that has potential to be the Collegeville of South Carolina. The house is not far from my dad’s job, and close to where my sister is going to college (well, closer than if they lived in PA). And as the time grew nearer for them to move, I was so wrapped up in my own house that I did not even realize how close it had gotten.
And now the house is no longer ours. They closed yesterday, July 16.
While I know there will be memories in their new house for us to share, it will be hard with my family far away. My dad has been my best friend all my life, and it is difficult to think that I cannot drive home to see him or meet him for dinner at California Tortilla. My mom can’t drive to my house to take care of me if I’m sick, or meet me at the gym for Zumba.
And the house, the house that holds so many memories, both wonderful and painful, is now gone from our lives. I thought it would be easy, but it’s not.
I’ve had to say goodbye to the place where I was raised, where I lived for ALMOST my entire childhood. I’ve had to say goodbye to the place where we have had 4th of July parties and birthday celebrations. I’ve run through the grass a million times in the sprinkler, playing whiffle ball, and challenging my dad to soccer scrimmages against myself and my sisters.
We would always dance in the kitchen (but no singing at the dinner table), play the pencil game, and listen to classical music while coloring. There have been so many times we rolled all over the living room playing monster or shark, or having target practice in front of the slider. Countless Christmases we decorated the tree that was so inconveniently place as it cut off our loveseat from view of the tv (and I was always the one wo had to sit on the floor to watch Frosty).
As we got older, things changed. We played cornhole and no longer had fireworks in the driveway for the 4th of July. We stopped playing with chalk in the driveway, but we would go for walks around the neighborhood and have insightful conversations. And no matter what, we never had phones at the dinner table. My parents always asked us how our days were, whether we were in elementary school, middle school, high school, or college. We still made gingerbread houses every year for Christmas and decorated the tree together.
We planned our biggest trips in that house (Italy & Spain, Hawaii), packed countless bags for Disney World, and piled everything in the car for trips up North.
I didn’t think it would be so hard to say goodbye to my childhood home, but if I’m honest, I’m lucky it is so hard. I am lucky to have had so many great memories within the walls of my home. I am excited to see what my house brings for memories and what my parents’ new house brings, but one thing is for sure, we will never forget all the happy memories and life experiences we shared on Persimmon Drive.