It's more like the place that I grew up now.
To me, now, this is home. Here.
Maybe it's just because I have nowhere else to go anymore. Maybe it's because there is something about losing both parents that takes that sense of belonging somewhere else forever away. Maybe it's simply because I'm feeling the sting of that loss of permanence, knowing that something that used to be a part of me isn't anymore and never will be again.
The house, their house, is on the market again.
The house that my father and I went to look at one afternoon when he picked me up from school. The house that needed so much work, that had so much wrong with it, but the house that we both saw for the potential it had. The house that everyone said we were crazy for buying.
The house that they owned over 20 years.
It hasn't even been three years since Mom signed it over, dropped off the keys. It's barely just past three years since the day that my father took his last breath there. I walked out the front door a week and a half later, knowing in my heart that it was for the last time, but not really acknowledging that truth because it was too much. It was too real. It was another loss stacked on top of losing him.
It wasn't home once he was gone anyway. His passing stripped it of its soul, leaving a fragile, echoing shell instead.
My curiosity got the better of me.
I looked at the listing.
I know I shouldn't have done that. I knew that there would be no possible good that could come from scrolling through the pictures of this strange and unfamiliar place that only bore a faint resemblance to what it used to be.
I couldn't help it.
I wanted to see it just one more time.
It, though, wasn't the same.
Nothing was. Nothing ever could be or ever will be again.
It deserved better, this house. We all did.
It deserved to be lived in and loved again long enough for memories to be made there. It deserved to become a part of the story of some other family that stretched over decades. It deserved to have years of triumphs and failures, to witness love and hate, to contain joy and frustration. It deserved more.
I know that houses aren't that way anymore, for most people anyway. They are just structures that we live in for however long until we move somewhere else anymore. They are buildings that serve a purpose. They are places to hold our stuff, but not always pieces of who we are, not always.
This house, though, it was more. It was more to me.
It was home.
And now it's gone. Again.
I heard this goddamn song for the first time just days after my Dad died, sitting in his chair, watching Miranda perform on the Grammy's.
I can't listen to it now. Maybe someone out there can listen for me.