“It is always sad for someone to leave home, unless they are simply going around the corner and will return in a few minutes with ice-cream sandwiches.” – Daniel Handler, American Writer and Musician.
There are many reasons why someone would leave home.
They’ve graduated high school and are heading off to college.
They’re getting married and creating a new home with their spouse.
They’re relocating for a new job opportunity in another state or country.
These are but a few examples, and I’m sure you can think of many more. But perhaps the saddest reason to leave home is less a choice of opportunity and more a result of circumstance.
My wife and I have a dear family friend who is 89 years old, though you’d never know it by her endless energy and kind-hearted spirit. She worked a full-time job well into her early 80s, tended to her gardens and regularly performed other physical chores around the house with ease, and was an active member of her local church for decades.
But recently, an unforeseen illness sidelined this energetic spirit. While it seemed temporary at first, it became clear that staying alone in a two-story house was no longer a sustainable or safe option for her.
In a matter of months, her whole life had changed, and suddenly the place she called home for the last 60 years (yes, you read that correctly) was being put on the market, and she was moving into an assisted living facility at the recommendation of her family.
I’ve seen the story above repeated countless times before between both friends and family. Unfortunately, their reason to leave home is often not the start of something new but the inevitable reality that one’s time here on Earth is limited.
Home may be just a house for some, but it’s so much more than just two-by-fours and nails. It catalogs the history we’ve shared with family and friends, represents our independence, and serves as a reminder of good times, bad times, and all the times in between.
Take time to appreciate your home and fill it with memories that will carry you through long after you no longer can call it yours.