My parents are avid hikers - they are both Adirondack 46'ers, and they love the mountains so much that they named me after the tallest peak in the Adirondacks. (Mt. Marcy!) After well over 30 something years of teaching high school, they both are moving up to the mountains so that they can spend their well-deserved retirement in the beautiful Adirondacks. Living in the mountains has always been their dream, and it's a wonderful thing that they can finally do so. I am very excited for them, and I know it is just time for them to move on. Our house is cozy and warm and full of memories, but it is far too crowded now that we are all married and my sister has offspring. They need a more spacious layout. And more than one shower.
Still, even knowing how happy they will be, and how right for them this move is, I can't help but feel a little bit heartbroken. Losing this house and the quaint valley it sits in is like losing a family member. Every Christmas there, every snow fort built in the yards, every summer volleyball game or campfire in the back yard ... they are all, after the house is sold, confined to memory, photos, and videos. I'm a little sad that I won't get to watch my nieces and nephews (and maybe, faaaar in the future from now, my own kids) play in our secret "echo base" fort in the neighbor's orchard, or ride their bikes up and down the driveway pretending to be CHiPs. (Ok, maybe our progeny won't be as into CHiPs and my sisters and I were, but still.) I know there are She-Ra toys buried in the silt in the stream behind our house - the scrap-wood mansions we built them are still embedded in the hillside, though overgrown with weeds and saplings now. I know somewhere over the bank behind the garage are the shredded remains of a Barbie and the Rockers Derek doll that my dad accidentally hit with the lawn tractor. And I know, because I am not the only one who has seen him, that our family cat Buster, who died in 1999, still walks through the house from time to time.
I liken this mixed emotion I have about my parents' move to a breakup; it sucks, and your heart feels broken, and you can't help but think about all the good times. But with a breakup comes moving on, and discovering new things and new happy occasions. And new memories yet to be made. My memories of home are golden, and warm, and happy. But so are my visions for my parents' future in the mountains. And as this cycle comes to it's full turn, the next one begins, and holds endless possibilities.
But that room over the front stoop will always be my room.