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Posts Tagged ‘Homecoming’

The Things We Save

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

I recently participated in a 14-day writing project focusing on one word or phrase. The word “home” has been on my mind. My sisters and I have been going through our childhood home the past few months in order to clean it out. Most of our weekends have been spent packing and wrapping, tossing and filling boxes for donations. It’s been very emotional. As I come across various photos and old objects, I found myself laughing and crying. This is the home I grew up in. It’s the home my mom and dad raised their family in. And gathered with friends in. And welcomed strangers. So much of my mom and dad are still in this home. There are so many memories and collections of belongings that fill “289.” As my sisters and I go through closets and dressers, cabinets and clutter, it has been difficult discerning the treasures from the trash.  We often must look at some items a few times to decide what to keep or give away. We angst over things to toss or take.

I don’t always know the meaning of things my parents kept – some of it was just for sentimental reasons; some of it was passed on from their family; and some of it was saved as gifts to pass on to their daughters. As I look through the stuff in the house, I often feel like none of it belongs to me. And yet, I feel like my parents wanted us to feel their legacy through the things they saved. Every photo, every piece of Irish crystal, every teacup, every vinyl record is their way of passing down their stories, their dreams, and their hopes of a better life for their daughters. Perhaps we won’t have to struggle as much as they did.

This was more than a house my family lived in. This was a place full of love and loss. This was my home. And it always will be. I don’t always know the meaning of the things they saved. I only know the things they saved help me remember them. My heart is grateful for the things they saved.

Home is more than a place of arrival and departure. It’s a journey. It’s finding our home again and again. And it’s an outreached arm, saying, “Welcome Home.”

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Leaving the Station

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Next stop – the Bronx. I often wait a long time at the Pelham Bay station for my train to leave the station. How long have I sat scrolling social media or reading or meditating or listening to a Podcast while waiting to leave the station? Over the years, I have left many stations behind – some that I have not returned to in years and some ever again. Leaving the station of people and places often means letting go and moving on.

Leaving and arriving are daily practices. It’s when I am stuck in the station that negative emotions arise. Leaving the station can mean a good-bye, a travel away, a travel towards, a moving on, a welcoming, a grieving, a homecoming, a shift in perspective. I have learned that we all leave the station at some point and each time is different. What are we really leaving?

Everything changes. And in the end, I have learned that everyone leaves in some form. It’s the inhale and exhale of life. Breathing in and breathing out. We meet each other in the in-between breath.

We all leave the station at our own pace. Welcome the leaving.

Soon the conductor will shout, “Leaving the station.”

Next stop…

This is dedicated to my mom who passed away 17 years ago. Glad we had time together to share the in-between breath.

This essay was inspired from the Prompt a Day Program with Cynthia Morris.

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