We peeked throughout the house to make sure we hadn’t missed any of our belongings.
I glanced into each room quickly, my daughter and wife’s eyes lingered a little bit longer.
They wanted to make certain we weren’t leaving anything behind.
As we stood by the front door, ready to leave our old place for the final time my wife looked sad
and my daughter began sobbing. Moving day had been hard physically and now it was becoming
difficult emotionally. To the naked eye, the house looked completely empty. Everything we owned
was either packed up or gone, but at the moment what we saw was a home that was full of our
As tears streamed down Marissa’s cheeks, she reminded us that our beloved Golden Retriever and
her had romped around in the back yard many times. I recalled our big dog trying to share a small
plastic sled with my daughter in the wintertime and how the two of them loved running through the
sprinkler during the hottest days of summer.
She mentioned the sleepovers she had with friends and for a moment I even missed the sound of
teen girls giggling at one A.M. She pointed to the spots where her and some of her closest friends
gathered before middle school dances and Senior prom to take pictures next to our fireplace and on our
front porch. Marissa had her “Sweet Sixteen” and “Graduation Party” here as well as some others.
My daughter and her friends had a painting party when she redecorated her bedroom.
We loved celebrating special occasions in our dining room and I thought of the times my wife and I
would fix a nice meal, share a bottle of our favorite wine and talk for hours about all kinds of things
( something that we still love to do). I was just hitting the tip of the memory iceberg and it was tough.
I thought of the times Marissa mentioned and then I remembered some additional ones and suddenly
I was sad too.
I realized that my daughter had spent her “wonder years” and lived half her life here, so of course
she was sad to leave the place. Ironically, she has an apartment of her own and was just there that day
to help us move out.
As tough as it was for each of us to leave, we couldn’t be standing there in the
foyer when the new owners arrived, that would have been awkward for everybody. I took a deep breath
and tried being logical. I reminded myself that the house had gotten older, a little ragged around the
edges and more difficult to take care of…kind of like me. It was time to downsize and upgrade to
a newer place. I sighed and turned the key to the old front door one last time and made sure it was
locked. I hid the key under a rock for the new owners, then we climbed into our SUV and pulled away
from the place we had called home for over thirteen years. My daughter was crying again and I can’t
say I blamed her. Moving is a part of life but that doesn’t mean moving is easy. In fact, moving is
difficult! It’s difficult because you have to pack up all of your important stuff, you try giving away your
leftover stuff and you have to throw away all of your unnecessary stuff.
As it turns out, that’s the easy part of moving.
The most difficult part of moving is figuring out what to do with all of the moments you shared and the
memories you made at your home. When you leave a special place, you feel like you’re leaving the
memories you made behind.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems impossible to store every memory of home and of growing up in your
mind or heart. That explains my daughter’s tears and why Moving Day took a toll on her!
As we drove toward our new house my pep talk began. I reminded my daughter and wife that we were
moving to a beautiful new home and we would be starting an exciting new chapter of our lives. I told
them that we had a chance to make lots of new memories. I also reminded my daughter she was
welcome to visit as often as she wanted ( Our new memories won’t be nearly as great without her)!