Regular Contributor
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎07-02-2011
@781Florist, you made me cry like a baby with your beautiful story! My brother and I had to clean out the family home of more than 30 years for sale after my mother’s death in 1990. I don’t think I have ever gotten over it. I still dream about that house at least once a week, and he is gone now. Funny because I have lived in another state for more than 50 years, far longer than I lived in that house.
Super Contributor
Posts: 428
Registered: ‎10-16-2021

@catwoman48   I think that one's first feeling of security that is developed in the childhood home is something that we take with us in our hearts when we have to pack up and go.  There is a passage from  J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Hobbit" ( a book I haven't read!)

that has been put on a number of plaques and signs that people put in their homes.


                             "That house was a perfect house,

                               Whether you liked food or sleep,

                                Or story-telling or singing.....

                                Or just sitting and thinking best,

                                 Or a pleasant mixture of them all.

                               Merely to be there was a cure for

                                weariness, fear,and sadness."


Of course it is the interaction and shared love and experience with the people who occupy a home that gives such a strong emotional bond to what would otherwise be just a building.

Being only human, we can't possibly remember every single moment we spent in our 

homes, so we take the mental snapshots of the Christmas tree in the corner or the dining room table with the big turkey or the prom pictures in the back yard that immediately connect us to those who shared those times and things with us when we were young and innocent and eager....and the world was never a very scary place when we were safe at home.

I am so glad you are ( like me and so many on this board) someone who was fortunate enough to make, keep, and carry such wonderful memories throughout your life.


Regular Contributor
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎07-02-2011
@781Florist, thank you for your beautiful response! Actually, we had a dysfunctional family, alcoholic father absent most of my life growing up, no money, living in a house owned by my mean, spiteful grandmother who just had to rub into my mother’s face that she was an idiot who married an idiot and now had three mouths to feed! But my mother got a job, supported us, made sure we had college educations and, being a Southern woman, managed to turn something that could have been a horrible memory into an ability to remember all the GOOD times in that house, not the hardship!

Before moving to that town when I was 10, we had spent several years living at my grandfather’s house in another city. He had been widowed early, traveled during the week and I don’t know where we would have lived if he had not been willing to let us move in. Our father was off on another of his binges….As the oldest, I already had fond memories of that house from when my grandmother (the other one, not the mean one) was alive. I dream of that house often, too, remember the good times there. It was a small house, but it was big enough to keep us safe. Amazing how some timber and brick can have a lifelong influence! I have been in my condo for 28 years, but my ex got the house where I raised a child, and I don’t have fond memories of it, strangely enough!
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,645
Registered: ‎03-08-2018

I am going through something similar now.  We have spent the summer cleaning out my husband's childhood home so my MIL (82 and been in the home for over 50 years) can sell it.  What has made it easier is that she hasn't been in the home since last November.  Although it took until June before she finally agreed to sell after her Dr told her she can't live alone.


If MIL had been in the home while we were attempting to clean it out nothing would have gone.  Any time she has been there she gets distracted and sees photos which she wants to keep.  Sister in Law brought her there to get the final clothes she needs. everything else has been donated.  Husband and I picked 1 box of items for her - small copies of large family photos and wedding albums to take with her.  It made the decision easier when most of it was made before she was there.  Honestly the only thing she has regularly asked for is a copy of her HS year book from 1958 when she was Homecoming Queen - LOL.  Can't tell you how often we heard her ask about that.  


MIL constantly tells us she appreciates the work we have done (mind you NO other family has helped, NO other grandchildren other than mind have helped).  In reality she has no idea of the countless hours we have spent cleaning out.  I spent close to 20 hours alone cleaning out her bedroom due to the amount of paperwork that stuffed every single drawer in there.  Husband and I were probably the only ones who could do the clean out and be closed off emotionally for the items.  Final items leave the home on Friday so we can put the For Sale sign up and we can not wait.