Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A New Beginning

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
- Semisonic “Closing Time”

Our kitchen project is coming along nicely. As I type this my hands, arms, forehead and hair all have splotches of brown paint on them. Today I painted the doorposts between the kitchen and dinning room. Anyone who has ever lived in this house should know what that means- I painted over our height chart. Granted, this was a newer chart that had only a few names with marks next to them to gauge that person’s height, but still it was the principle of the thing. I was painting over my memories.

I know I’ve mentioned this type of thing before back when I had an email list instead of a blog, but I’m still struggling with the fact that I am the one that is changing my childhood home and undoing the work my mom did here. This has also been coming up as I’m working in our yard, trying to turn it back to grass. It’s so weird to be digging up the rocks that I helped to put there in the first place. There are some of them that I can even remember picking out at the creek because their shape or color was so extraordinary.

I know it’s okay to change things in and around this house. I know that I should change things here because this is my house now. But it still feels weird. And it still hurts sometimes.
In a way, I am glad that I get to be the one to redecorate this house. I think it’s healing for me. I’m not trying to sound all psycho-babbly or anything, but I really do think that. Sometimes I have a hard time letting go of the past so this situation really is the best for me. You can’t hold on to the past when you’re painting over it.

I still have my memories to hang on to and when those fail I can always borrow a few from my siblings. My mom’s kitchen was an amazing place and I hope that my kitchen will be just as wonderful. I hope it, too, is a place where delicious food is prepared as if by magic and a place where too many people try to cram themselves into. My mom’s kitchen doesn’t exist anymore- that is, it doesn’t exist in its material form. It is still an amazing place in our minds, hearts and memories. And no amount of paint can ever cover that up.

1 comment:

Jeremy Beach said...


I realize that I cannot know exactly what you are going through while redecorating, but I have had similar experiences since my father's death. Although my father and I did not have a strong emotional bond, I still felt strange whenever I had to change something in our yard, the house, or his old room in particular. On some level, I can appreciate why changing what is now your house could be so hard. I will be praying for you.