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Talking it over: The family home

Today as I drove to work, I noticed some activity at the home place of my aunt and uncle. My aunt recently sold her home and has moved into an apartment. I understand that the farm site will now become the home of a new church which, in its own way, is exciting. However, it is sad for me to see the changes at a home and farm site that has meant a lot to my aunt, uncle, cousins and the many people who visited there.

In my youth I spent a great deal of time there in the original family home. We visited quite often as a family, and my sisters and I were often invited for play dates. Sometimes we would go sledding down the big hills behind their home. Other times we would explore the attics and hidden spaces in the home. We would celebrate the holidays, birthdays, or just get together for some fun. Later that home was replaced with a newer one.

It made me think back to the last time my family was able to gather in our family home and how difficult it was to walk out that door for the last time. It marked the end of an era and some of our family traditions. Christmas and other holidays are just not the same when not in the family home. Relatives who come to visit often have to rent a hotel room or stay with other family members. Family meals are now confined to restaurants which shortens up the time spent together. The cousins rarely see each other, much less their extended families.

In my opinion, it is hard to get together as a family without the family home. Some families may be fortunate to have places and opportunities to get together regularly but that is not often the case. Simply having a home large enough to fit everyone is one of the problems and working around busy schedules is another.

I know that time marches on and things change. The new has to replace the old and we need to make adjustments to the changes. Knowing this and getting past that lump that forms in your throat when you think about it, are two different things. Sometimes changes can be quite difficult to swallow.