What Makes A House A Home?
I apologize for the long absence from the blogosphere. These many weeks my husband and I have been on Vancouver Island wrapping up his Dad’s estate, the last task, selling the family home and having an estate sale there. This has been a labour of love for my husband, a long, laborious task that has taken over four years to complete. In that time, he has followed, to the letter, every last wish his father requested of him. To say these last few months, and particularly the last few weeks has been taxing in strength and emotional stress would be understating the obvious. Saying “good-bye” to the family home that he and his brother and sister had grown up in, a home his father and mother had built and lived in since the early 60’s, brought back years and years of precious memories for him. As he said repeatedly, “It’s just a house, it’s the people who live in it that make it a home.”
It was particularly hard on my husband’s stepmother who moved in with her daughter in Victoria this past Christmas. She had lived in that house in Comox for over 25 years, and when failing health forced her to move away from it, she left a piece of her heart there but she told me, “It’s just a house, it’s the time I spent with my husband there that I will miss. I will always miss him.”
During the estate sale, we actually met the new owners of the house, a Christian couple (PTL!!), who are excited to begin their new life there. My husband and I nearly wept with delight to know Christ followers will continue to live in that house! So, as we carted out the last box and toured each empty room together we at last stopped in the kitchen and hugged. It had been an intense week leading up to this moment. So much packing and cleaning and seeing household furniture and “stuff” go to new families who we hoped would care for and appreciate the items for years to come. The house had never been empty before and it was so odd to hear our voices echo within the rooms. Then we bowed our heads and prayed…not for the house…but for the people who would be living there next.
What makes a house a home? The people in it.
As a final act of respect to his dad, we drove from the house so my husband could visit the gravesites of his parents. As tears rolled down my cheeks, he stood silently over their final resting place for a few minutes, and said to me, “I know they’re not there, they’re with God, but still this was something I had to do.”
I couldn’t help but imagine Dad at that moment standing beside his son and patting him on the back for a job well done!