| David Gane

Letting Go

I spent this weekend packing up my old family home and moving my mother into a condo.

The house was the place I was born, where I proposed to my wife (officially), and said goodbye to my grandmothers and father. It is the place my childhood pet is buried, the home of big family suppers, Christmases, birthdays, late night parties (my parents and my own). Every piece of it has a memory, beneath the layers of paint and changes that have occurred over the years.

It's been a tough experience for my mother. She built it with my father and lived there for longer than my lifetime.

I kept saying to her that a house is just a building—it is the things we take with us and the memories that are what make it. It wasn't until we closed the doors for the last time that the sadness hit me. Although we sold the house to family, I'm not sure I'll be able to go back through those doors or even onto the land. As I drove out of town, I wondered how often I'd be back.

Memory is not static, but a constant reconstruction in our minds—always evolving, always moving away from the original event. And saying goodbye to the object that helps anchors them is the hardest part.

I don't know what the memory of my home will be in a month or a year or ten years. I don't know how much will slip away or change. I wonder how much the recollections I hold will remain true.

As mom gets older and forgets more and more, this could be the hardest part. It isn't saying goodbye to the house and the land she lived around on for all her life. In fact, it is that as she distances herself with time and space, it is about having to moving from the pieces that connect her to her past. That is the hardest letting go of all.


I've decided to cut back to only three posts a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). As we continue to get busier (and plan to get even busier still) I think it only makes sense to do, so that I don't lose my mind.

Keep up the hard work.

Tags: Reflections

Leave a comment