Back in January my grandfather's house burned in a fire, leaving my grandpa and my mom homeless with just the clothes on their backs.   No one was hurt, thank God, but it was a pretty terrible time.  Friends were very supportive, and thank goodness for insurance.  But of course, some things just can't be replaced, like the house itself, which has been in the family for over 50 years. They built it when my mom was just 2 years old.   I have so many fond memories of this house from my childhood.

  I went home to visit them last month.  They're in a temporary place while they decide where they want to end up living more permanently.  While visiting I made several trips to the house to help my mom try to salvage some of their belongings.    Let me tell you, it was a very surreal experience walking through the house and seeing it like that. 

  At first I was fascinated by the wreckage...I'd never actually seen anything like it before, and I just wanted to take pictures of everything...typical me.   But the more times I went in, the more unnerving it became. The more it sunk in that this is it, the house is really gone.   By the final time I went inside, I just wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible, because it just felt so ominous inside.

  Before I left though, I had to take a few moments to look around and just take it all in one more time.  I stood in the kitchen and saw it as it was before, with my family there. My grandmother at the stove, my grandpa at the kitchen table.  Myself as a child, using a stepladder as a chair and eating my dinner off of the pull-out cutting board because there wasn't room at the table.  

  And even the big yard outside, which still looks the same,  but I knew I wouldn't likely get to visit again. I could see my brothers and I as children playing with our cousins,  games like "Beat each other up" and "Man Hunt."     

  And of course, I will always remember my grandparents waving goodbye from the porch door or the big picture window, as they did every time we'd leave after a visit.

  I had to take it all in one more time, and say goodbye. Its so sad to think that I won't ever get to visit the house again.  Part of me kind of felt like it would always be there for me.   And if its hard for me, I can only imagine how difficult it is for my mom and my grandpa, who spent so much of their lives there.

  You never think that this sort of thing could happen to you, or to your family, but it can. It does.

 And because I don't want to leave this on such a sad note, I thought I would close with a couple photos of some happier times at the house.  :)

     I will miss this old house, but it will stand untouched in my memories and dreams. 


  1. Love it. You captured the feelings perfectly. It made me cry to read it. Nobody really understands how much this house means to us Kim. It's been part of our lives for so so long. Love you

  2. Thank you for sharing this touching story and these wonderful photos. Wow.



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