Saturday, April 13, 2013

Memories For Sale

This is a photo of my dad, mom, and big sister taken a year or so after they moved into the house I grew up in; a house Mom spent 50 years in; and a house which she no longer even seems to remember.  Dad's father had a special relationship with the home builder and was able to get Mom and Dad a discount on it.  Mom and Dad and their descendants have been the only residents of this home.  That will change soon.

Mom and Dad's house went up for sale today.  Mom and Dad paid $15,000 (I think) for this house in 1961.  Today we're attempting to sell it for $209,500.  The home's value has certainly increased even accounting for inflation, but it's nothing compared to the value of memories created in this home.

It makes me a little sad to know that my childhood home will belong to someone else, but it is also my fondest wish that whoever ends up buying Mom's home will have as many wonderful memories there as my family and I did.

This is Mom with my older brother about two years after the previous picture was taken.  Notice the recently planted rose bushes in the background.

This is Mom and me about 6 years later.  Notice those same rose bushes.  They still flourish today.

I was in Jonah's parents' backyard the other day.  We had been helping them prune, weed, and clean up a bit.  After we had finished, I was sitting on a bench back there looking at their very lovely and full rose bushes and I just started crying thinking of the roses Mom and Dad had planted for their new home.  Just like those roses, so many wonderful and cherished memories blossomed in that home on the street where I grew up.

I'll always have my memories, of course.  Even if a disease like dementia temporarily robs me of them, they will always be inside me somewhere.  Selling a house or getting rid of material things will never change that.  But I do feel a loss of the symbol of what my childhood home represents.  Handing that over to someone else is hard.

I have been transcribing Mom's journals so that my family will have a keepsake of her life when after she has passed on.  Originally, I was just doing random journals in no particular order.  Now I've decided to go in order because I am interested in seeing the progression of Mom's life.

I had forgotten how domestic Mom was when I was younger.  In the journals I've been reading (about 1978-1979), she's constantly cleaning and baking and doing stuff with her kids.  Religion, as it always was, was of great importance.  I had forgotten how consuming church life could be pre-correlation.  Family Home Evening on Monday, Relief Society on on Wednesday, Primary on Thursday, Priesthood, Sunday School, and Sacrament Meeting on Sunday (Sunday School early in the day and then returning later for Sacrament Meeting after lunch), and visiting teaching and mutual activities as well.  I vaguely remember it being that way, but it's crazy how time-consuming it must have been.

I'm especially touched by how much my family did together.  Mom and Dad were big on family activities.  In several journal entries spanning a week, Mom recounts how one day we went to Sundance for brunch; the next day we went to Mt. Timponogos and to Provo for miniature golf; the next day to an amusement park called Lagoon where we also picnicked; the next day to Park City to go on the Alpine Slide; and the next day to Murray Park for a picnic.  I fondly remember family vacations we took to Disneyland, Yellowstone Park, British Columbia, Las Vegas, Seattle, the Grand Canyon, etc.  We had regular family home evenings when I was young and we had family dinner regularly.  I know there are many people out there who have had less than ideal family lives, but mine was great.  I miss that family togetherness.  We still get together, but of course with new marriages, new families, and new lives, it is never the same as it was when I was a child.

Mom is doing well.  She's actually been quite coherent and articulate lately, almost like talking to my old mom.  I think assisted living has been very good for her...and for us.  There are days when she would like to leave, but she seems like she is adjusting well.

Mom's brother died a few days ago.  He was in pretty frail health.  I did not know him well.  I met him once when I was a kid, but distance prevented any real relationship with him.  He and Mom were close when they were young, but in later life it seemed they only spoke or wrote on birthdays or holidays.  I always found that kind of sad.  When I told Mom he had died, she didn't react too badly.  She said she hadn't spoken to him in a while (which was true) and seemed resigned that if it was his time to go, it was his time to go.  The next day, however, it seemed to hit her more and she was upset about it.

At first I thought her reaction was strange, but then I thought of my relationship with my own brother, who I love and admire a great deal, but with whom I have little in common.  My older sister's death would be more liable to break me up than his would.  I don't mean that to sound insensitive.  I don't mean it that way.  I just mean that I am closer with my sister than I am with my brother.  I can see my relationship with my brother being much the way Mom's was with hers.

Mom's other brother (who I think she's a little closer to (although they don't communicate much, either) called Mom and spoke with her, and I think that was nice for Mom.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see who buys Mom's house and what becomes of it.


LCannon said...

Though none of us seem as close to Patrick as we are to one another, we are a lot closer to Sunny than mom was with Julia. The distance had a lot to do with the enstrangement. They didn't have facebook or a lot of the modern technology that we do now. Though I think John's desire to learn technology was the same as Patrick's desire to explore fb.

It is sad that we don't really know mom's side of the family. And Jenna may not remember much of Roland's either. Even the boys know our family better than they do either one of their biological parents. And then there's Bill who keeps in touch with ALL of his in-laws both current and former.

Dean Scott said...

I met the couple who bought my parent's home approximately two years after mom died. I decided to drive past the home, saw the couple working in the front yard, and stopped to introduce myself. They were so kind. They asked me a few things about the house. It was nice to see another family making good memories in a place where so many of my memories were made.

Gay LDS Actor said...

That's nice to hear, Dean. I hope that will be the case with the house's new residents.