This Door

by Claire on December 12, 2012

Let the changes begin.

IMG_3706

This door has been hidden behind drywall since 1996.

This door was revealed today and made me cry.

I didn’t anticipate these feelings.

The memories that were hidden surfaced today. Memories of walking through that door when my father was alive and both my parents lived there. Walking through the hallway to the living room that was packed with people saying their goodbyes to my dad. Taking my place on the sofa next to my father as he held my hand with his big strong hands. The oxygen helped him breathe. It was the last time I sat on the couch with him before they left for Palm Springs.

My father never walked through that door again.

My father died in Palm Springs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My mom came back. She walked through that door so many times alone.

She slept on the floor by the sliding glass door, listening to the water below the condo. Trying to stay close to my father’s spirit.

Three years after my dad passed, my mom bought the condo next to this one and covered up the door with a bathroom wall and giant jetted bathtub big enough for at least five toddlers.

She knocked down the walls in between and made a large spacious condo which she filled up with family and friends.

My mom used a different door to go in and out of her condo until the day she walked through that door for the last time.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The walls between the two units are going back up and the two condos will be sold.

I will eventually walk through that door one last time.

After that, I have no idea the path that I will follow.

But I know that on that path, the spirits of both my parents will escort me – sometimes making themselves known, like they did today, and sometimes just silently guiding, observing, encouraging, comforting me.

I will find my own door.

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{ 6 comments }

joan December 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Well, I cried too, looking at your door. The weird, weird thing is- I was , 1 minute ago, replying to a woman who had read a post of mine about the Catholic school I went to when I was in the first grade 57 years ago. The school was an orphanage but also took in a few kids who had homes. My mother, a devout Catholic at the time, sent both my sister and I there for a couple of years. That in turn made me sit back and close my eyes and think of my parents as they looked back then, still young in their prime. My Mom was very pretty and she had a very warm way about her. She had the softest skin of anyone I have ever met. I remember just patting her cheek when I was little and thinking about how soft her skin was. Also, just today, I taught Lilah a song my mother always used to sing to me.

“Chickery chick, cha-la, cha-la
Check-a-la romey in a bananika
Bollika, wollika, can’t you see
Chickery chick is me?”

I think you and I are very alike as to the relationships we had with our parents. Even though I haven’t seen my Mom in 15 years or my Dad in 12 I can see them in my mind’s eye perfectly. I’m glad my memories have stayed strong even though they sometimes make me cry. The tears aren’t tears of sadness anymore. They are tears of joy because I have such wonderful memories of them. I hope that is the way it is for you too.

Claire December 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

You totally “get it”, Joan. Thank you so much for sharing this. Yes, there are tears of joy, and still tears of sadness for the loss of such vibrant people as both my parents were. For some reason, they were larger than life to me. Still are. I cry with gratitude for everything they gave me, taught me, showed me. They loved me completely. My mother used to also say that when you lose your parents you lose the only people who will always think of you as very young. So wise they both were in so many ways. Yes, that door symbolizes just so very, very much. The condo is no longer my mom’s home. It is just a condo. But I am grateful for all the memories that were created through that door.

joan December 14, 2012 at 12:16 am

When my Dad and I worked together in the store we owned I would run across the street sometimes to get us lunch. I was in my late 50′s and he would tell me to “Be careful crossing the street”. It always made me smile. Your Mom was right. My parents always thought of me as a kid.

Claire December 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

That’s awesome. :) I can imagine you had wonderful memories working with your dad in the store.

teri December 17, 2012 at 8:02 am

I did not have that kind of relationship with my parents. I can only hope that I am building that kind of relationship with my boys.

I can tell that you have built a strong relationship with your girls and, now, with your grandchildren. You are following the amazing example set by your parents.

Claire December 17, 2012 at 8:36 am

Teri, I am sure you are from everything I’ve read and talked with you about. We can only hope to improve each generation. I am so very grateful for having had the good relationship with my parents that I had. I do realize that I am quite fortunate in that regard. Both my girls are strong and independent women, and I’m quite proud of that fact.

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