Allyson Altit

How Do I Hug Our Home?

Your house is so much more than just a house, it is a place of comfort combined with a trillion memories and too many significant moments and milestones to even get into.

The house where any of us live is a HOME and therefore, is a place where life unfolds and is filled with love, laughter and naturally, tears. But it is all of that which keeps us going back H O M E for more.

I need to say goodbye to what has been our home for 27 years. I feel that I want to HUG my home because it has become an extension of me, and no one wants to leave behind a part of themselves. I feel as if it is truly a real piece of me; all that our home encompasses is tucked deep inside my heart so I can never forget how cozy and happy a place it represented.

It felt kind of weird at first, when I began saying goodbye to each room as well as the outside space of our home, too. Standing and spending time in my kitchen many times a day over the span of 27 years – this is the place that I have said goodbye to the most. My kitchen window allows me to look out on my beautiful, lush lawn which has been my view for so many of those years, and the bushes are now as high as the sky. Back in the day I could watch my daughters playing outside and not miss a moment! Over the years I have acquired lovely bird friends, they have now come by to tweet farewell, there are the red birds and the blue birds and all their baby birds that never fail to make me smile. I have said goodbye to my kitchen where it cooperated with me to prepare and serve Shabbat dinner over all these years along with numerous meals and celebrations, and also where I have a special corner where I light my Shabbat candles each week as well. Lots of wonderful energy in that spot.

I said goodbye to my daughters’ rooms quite some time ago, since the nest has been empty for a while. Going up to their rooms was sort of painful and bittersweet for sure. I must admit saying goodbye to their space took time, and I am delighted to say that I am over it. To say goodbye to the bedrooms that your children literally grew up in, their decorated walls with awards and achievements and pictures by the thousands (from school days, birthdays and proms, camp, vacations, through college and more.) To say goodbye to the music (including cassettes, if you can remember those) that were squeezed into the back of their drawers, was not an easy task. It was my job and it took a lot out of me. Many could relate to the memories of your babies when they played with that doll or toy, their TY Beanie Baby collection, and Cabbage Patch, too. They left it all there, I imagine they thought it could just stay in it’s place for it was home. When they bought that cassette or wrote that letter and took those pictures and had all of those friends; it all spoke volumes as I had to clean the space for the next people to occupy our home.

For me, the living space as much as the outdoor space is a flood of memories. Too numerous to even think about and for that, I am happy to tuck it all deep inside me and move on. But let me tell you IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK! God willing, I will always have a vivid memory of our home and all the good times, fun times, and all the challenging times because they were all a huge part of my life. Wonderful times! Like the song goes, “Those were the days my friends…..” It was in fact the most important and SIGNIFICANT time and greatest time of my life to date. (A time I will always miss, no doubt!) Everyday that I drove home and entered my driveway I relished in just the feeling of the sight of our H O M E and I entered with a smile and now I will leave with the same smile as well!

As I walked out of OUR HOUSE for the last time, I choked up, it was such a profound and intense feeling-one that I was not prepared for. This was it, and it was not easy to grasp the fact that I would never walk in here again. So I literally said goodbye to the space and began to feel that it was time to leave it behind. And then, after locking the front door for the last time, I literally stood and stared at it and then I did give the front door a hug, as if I was grasping the entire house in my arms. I turned and hugged each magnificent specimen tree, as if they were a human, because they gave me so much pleasure every single day, I recall how I would, very often, stare at them and just smile.

And this is how I hugged my home.

I look forward to establishing a new cozy and warm environment that we will call home. One where I can set up my kitchen and get to work on LIVING LIFE in and around our home, where our hearts will always be. I have been taught that new chapters and change is good and so, Baruch ha Shem, (Thank God) the time has come.

I will pack up my candle sticks that I received as a gift before I married 34 years ago and will take them home. HOME is truly where the heart is and so we are happy to come home!

Bzrat ha Shem! (God Willing!)

About the Author
Allyson Altit is from New York. She has worked in the travel industry for over 30 years as a leisure specialist. Her area of expertise is in European destinations and Israel. She has been involved with charity work for the Hadassah organization as well. In 2009 she graduated from Queens College majoring in Jewish studies. She has just completed writing her first novel...
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