My parents bought this house as I was turning seven-years-old. For fifty-one years, it’s been the place where I held precious memories of my youth: the trees I climbed and hung out in for hours, the road to the hill I walked to sit and stare out over the Bay Area and think my thoughts, the bedroom where I spent countless hours playing with my dolls as a little girl and later where I created my dreams for my future.
Tomorrow, June 1st, 2011, my ninety-five-year-old father comes to live with me and from that day forward any trips home I make will be to clean it, sort out possessions, give away unwanted items, and finally, sell it. A chapter is closing.
But the thing I must always remember is a structure we live in is not the real home. It’s the sweet memories we keep in our hearts of the love a family shares. I know I will cry as I lock that front door because that’s what I do best when touched by a precious recollection, but I will take the history of the Madden family with me and keep it safe forever in my heart.