This life is full of change. Change fills every corner of our lives, testing us, taunting us, shaping us into who we are. I accepted these words maybe even cherished them until true change crept into my life bringing its acquaintances, sorrow, and heartache along as well. I never truly embraced and appreciated the time that I spent at school, with my friends, or at my house, until it was taken away from me.
The moving truck let out a screech as it pulled out of the driveway, carrying boxes full memories away from our childhood home. The parts of our lives that we could not fit in boxes or wrap in bubble wrap, we had to leave behind, along with the memories that we made there. The rest of our family was down stairs, packing the car, for our long six hour trip to Ohio. My eyes scanned every square inch of my empty room, taking in every memory that happened inside it’s white, and light green walls. These thoughts paraded through my head as I sat on the bare hardwood floor of the bedroom I grew up in, tears blurred my vision, as my fondest memories played before my eyes. The floor creaked softly as my hand brushed against the olive green bookcase, the same one that used to house the books I learned to read with. The white walls, had chips, and dents in them, but now they were filled in with plaster and covered with paint. Our mark on the house was being erased, along with the tiny smudged hand prints on the wall. The light brown, now matted rug where my brother learned to walk was sticking out of the dumpster by the window. As I peered into my brothers bedroom my heart started to recall memories that until that moment I thought I did not care about; rainy afternoons spent playing pirates in forts made out of bed sheets, playing legos, and building American Ninja Warrior courses. Secrets were shared with in these walls, hearts were poured out, and children were raised, it shaped our family into who we are today. However, it is not ours anymore, it is somebody else's, and we can never come back to it. We can never laugh, or cry, or make anymore memories within those walls. These thoughts paraded through my head as I sat on the stairwell, my hands gripping onto the banister, my heart racing. My mind struggled to remember every fond memory that happened in that house; however, it refused to relinquish any. Suddenly, I hear my dad calling from downstairs, his voice echoing off of the empty walls, the walls that were once littered with baby pictures, now a dull white .
“Time to go honey! There is a storm coming and we got to get on the road.” My eyes clouded over as I glanced one more time at the empty house, taking in every last square inch of the house that built me, the house that watched me grow, and the house that contained every memory of my life for the past eight years. I leaned against the wall trying to gather myself before I headed downstairs, knowing I'll never be able to come back, because now it it not mine. This was my last time within these walls.
“I promise I will never forget you,” I mutter as I slowly stand up. The door closed behind me, a tiny click has never caused me such grief in my life. My best friend runs up to me, her eyes glistening.
“I will miss you so much,” she murmured. Her face grew red in the desperate effort to contain both of our sorrow. One tear falls, than another, at that moment I realized that I could not hide how much I will miss her and everything else about my old, simple, comfortable life. We sat there, arms wrapped around each other, tears cascading down our cheeks. Both of us had dreaded this moment… the final goodbye. Last year, I never would have even dreamt about the thought of moving to Ohio, and also the emotional turmoil of having to part with countless people, objects, and opportunities that accompanied it. She gave me one last hug, her tears soaking into my shirt.
“Ohio better get ready for Caroline, here she comes,” she whispered into my ear. We both giggled softly as I hesitantly climbed into the car. She was my “sister,” my best friend and I was about to lose her all because of change and a plan that is unknown to me. As we pulled down the driveway, I took one last glance at my house, the place I grew up, the place were I became who I am today. Tears blurred my vision as I looked at the blue sky littered with clouds that was the backdrop to an old farmhouse, surrounded by cornfields, and beautiful pastures. My head was numb, numbed by the surelity of the situation, numbed by the loss, a void in my heart, a massive section of my childhood, was simply left on 73 Bollinger, and there it will stay. I cannot change reality or what happened in the past, but I now realize I can change my outlook, on a negative situation, and eventually turn it into a positive one. I now realize, I will never lose that house, my friends, or my old life because it is forever in my heart, because that place where I grew up is now part of me, a portion of my heart that can never be stolen or even lost. Originally I thought the six mile separation between my home and I, would be the “end of the world,” but as time goes on, the wounds heal, friendships are made, and the state that seemed world’s away suddenly does not seem all that far. Ohio is now my home, and I must accept that, and all that come with it. Ohio is now my home.