This time I think we’re actually going to make the change and move. With all the violence lately coming as close as the other side of our fence in the backyard, we’re just not safe any longer.
It’s a change that I’ve been fighting for many years because this is my mothers’ house. I grew up here from the age of 3 and my younger siblings came home from the hospital to this house. So many memories, good and bad are held within these walls. My father died while we lived here and I watched my mother learn how to do things after that. Things that today’s woman would think nothing of but to her, it was an amazing thing to have to step forward and do as a woman back then.
I remember her studying for her GED, she left school to get married and raise a family, only to find herself widowed at the age of 32 with seven children. In the front yard, we all sat watching as she learned how to drive, we thought it was funny but didn’t realize the stress she was under.
Seeing her learn how to write checks and get financial aid that she needed with seven kids. Then getting a job, it wasn’t her first job but that had been a few decades past. She chose a path of even more children, daycare. Back then it wasn’t a word of taboo like it is today. Most people that worked there truly cared for the children and they seemed to become her second family. She was happy for them when they did good and learned something and cried when they moved away. She was built on love and faith and anyone who was graced with her presence quickly understood that.
What everyone experienced on the outside of our house, we were given every day as children. Sure, we all experienced the stress of it all but that was growth. I know that I am the woman I am today because of her. Not to say I had my fair share of learning for myself but I think that was her plan all along.
But now that she’s been gone for a long time, I’ve been holding on to this house like she is still here. Remembering how we used to talk about getting the show Extreme Makeover Home Edition to come out and actually going so far as filling out the application before she went into the hospital. I have to realize that she too was ready for a move way back then.
Last week there was a shooting, we’re actually used to hearing rounds of gunfire even though we shouldn’t be. But this one was different, it was on the other side of my fence in the backyard. We don’t use the yard like we used to, no more playing outside or laying in the grass in the day or at night just watching the clouds and stars. Feeling so carefree at the time like we could concur the world with just our thoughts. Now we only go outside to go straight to our car and back. It’s a hostage life we live and we shouldn’t have to.
These past few days, I’ve set aside my fears and taken the first steps to find another place to call home. Even typing that sounds weird like calling another place home is like calling someone else your mother. We’re going this week to look at places with a realtor and I’ve never done that before. Here I am a grown woman, scared to death of making the change that is so very needed. Is this what my mother felt? Did she feel like cowering in the house with its comforts and then just force herself to do what she needed to do? I feel like this is what I’m doing. I want to stay under the covers of my bed where it feels warm and safe but I know that at any minute a bullet truly can come through the wall. So how safe and warm is my bed now?
I’m hoping that when people say you take the memories with you, that I too can do the same. Good or bad, I don’t want to lose them.