Its Somebody's Home...
For the past several months, my husband (who lovingly calls himself my emotional support pig; that might be a blog post unto itself) , my son and I have been working on clearing out/cleaning up the home I grew up in. It's a difficult process and a highly emotional one. (Which is why I need an emotional support pig!)
We may say that things are just things, but they are not. They are memories. They are a piece of time. Items are highly personal. These "things" that would mean nothing to someone else, can mean the world to me, or you.
I have worked hard to honor what is there. (Which is one of the reasons why this process has taken so long.) While I may have tossed some things; I have kept some that have special meaning to me. Items that I felt could be of use to someone else, I donated to the thrift shop. Items that I felt someone else might have a kinship with, I have given to the appropriate person. (A friend collects/uses seasonal china; I gave her a few pieces. I knew she would cherish them and purposely selected pieces that I thought would speak to her and not just give her a "lot" of items that would hold no meaning.) Thought and honor ARE important and something that I take very seriously as I (and my family) work our way through decades of life and memories.
Every time we have put out items for bulk pick up day, it has been difficult. I admit that I have shed a few tears. But it has been done.
Now we are finishing up. Eventually the house will be put on the market. And this is difficult too. Perhaps this is the most difficult step of the whole process.
"We know that "staging" is important. The "tricks" to making a house more appealing to a buyer. But in essence it feels like we are being told our lives are not good enough. How we lived is not acceptable. That this chair is not right. That the table needs to go in a different space.
Now I logically I know this is not true. Arranging a house just so to make it more salable makes perfect sense. But emotionally and spiritually it cuts.
It got me thinking about how judgmental we are. We look at a house that is painted in a non-traditional style or color. Who would paint their house pink? What kind of person has different colors on different sides of their house? A shag rug? Plaid wallpaper? Floral bedding and drapes? What difference does it make? It may not be to YOUR taste, but that doesn't make it invalid. Someone loved it; someone cared about it and made it THEIR home.
The dinged furniture; the missing tiles; the peeling paint...it is not lack of care. Each mark is part of the home's history. It is part of a family history. And we need to honor and respect that.
When my family home is sold, it will cease to be a home and will become someone else's house. It will be a different entity. I hope when this happens, that the person(s) will do whatever they want to do to make it THEIR home. At the same time, I hope they will remember that others have lived and loved there. That as they make changes, they know that what went before was part of someone else's history and that history was and is important.