For almost thirty years, this was home. I secured the mortgage the same week I matched for residency. I moved right before medical school graduation.
Throughout my training, this was home. This was where I came post-call to lay my bone-weary head. Middle-of-the-night hospital calls rang here; this was where I came back to afterward.
I raised my family here. Babies brought home, watched as they learned to walk and talk, headed out to school (walking to elementary school around the corner), quickly becoming taller than me, and finally heading out into the world on their own.
This was their home.
This place saw its share of anger and fear along with love, joy, and triumph. My heart was broken here, though it mended with time as most things do. Love and joy returned.
It looked a little different at the beginning. Over the years it got new siding, an extra bedroom, a wider driveway, a new deck, a storage shed. It had more trees when I first moved in. Inside, every single room was eventually re-done. Twenty-nine years is a long time.
But no more. With kids gone, there’s no reason to bounce around in such a big place. Time to move on to smaller digs; someplace with an “open concept” and a first floor master. Near enough to get to work conveniently, but definitely a different neighborhood.
It feels strange. Even over these last four months of apartment living, I could still go over there whenever I wanted. But as of today, I no longer own the place. Make no mistake: it’s a huge relief to have the sale finally a done deal. But still; twenty-nine years is a long time. It will be a while yet, but I’ll get there. Watching the new house come together is exciting.
But today I pause to remember: Home.