I've spent nearly 30 Christmas' in this home, and this year is the last one I ever will. My parents are retiring in 2015, and they are moving to another town to be closer to family, which is wonderful and exciting. But these past few days, as we've helped my parents clean out the attic and sort through the stuff, there have been moments where I felt nearly paralyzed with sadness as I was overcome with memories and emotions.
My parents close on their new house on January 9th, but won't retire until the summer. But, that weekend in January, they plan to begin moving things to their new house each month, to make the final move easier. The next time I step foot in this home, there will not be a bed in my room, or things in my closet. The end is very near.
Last night, Christmas eve, we went to our final Christmas service at church. The church were I was baptized, where I met Jesus, and went to Sunday school. The church where I made friends, played on the lawn, spent countless hours. During our final song, I stood quietly looking at the alter, taking it all in, just wanting to remember the church, because its been exactly the same since I was a child.
And last night, I woke up after everyone went to bed, and wondered the quite rooms of this house. A lot of life happened between these four walls. Good things and bad. Memories and moments that we treasure, and a million others that we have long since forgotten. Dreams came true, hearts were broken, fights and make up's occurred. First kisses, slow dances, parties. They all happened here. It is just a house, just brick and drywall, but somewhere along the way, it became home. A refuge from the storm, a place where love always prevailed.
We leave tomorrow afternoon to head back to Dallas. So this, my final night, in my home before everything changes, before everything is different, before normal is no more, I will take a moment to thank this house. Thank it for always being warm and inviting. For always keeping me safe from the storm, and for being more than just a house.
In these last few hours and days of the only "normal" I've ever known, I'm reminded of the quote by Steven Rogers. "Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but its whats in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will."