Leaving Home

Change, change, and hey, how about some more change? I bet a lot of you have said your final good-byes to your childhood home. It was my turn a few weeks back as I spent several days helping my parents pack up and prepare to move.

On this Mother’s Day weekend, it seems appropriate to post this ode to childhood homes, as my daughter-heart appreciates and desires to honor the home (not just the house) my mom and dad made for me. My mother-heart is tender too, for we packed up our children’s childhood home a few years back, and that was difficult as well.

It is hard to watch phase after phase of life slip past into the realm of “What Was”, and yet I am grateful to have had the sort of childhood you cherish all your life.




It’s hard to leave your home

When every square inch

Of its precious space

Holds a heartful of memories

Layered one atop the other

Like baklava-

Soaked in a richness

You can’t see,

But you sure can taste.

Everywhere you look

A memory is stored.


That vaulted pine ceiling

Captured the laughter

Of Papas and Grandmas

You miss.

It oversaw and overheard

Countless moments shared,

From silly to sad-hearted

And everything in between.

A catalog of conversations is stored

In those beautiful beams.


That spot by the wood stove,

Just close enough to warm

But not overheat,

Where you sat, wide-eyed

Behind a fortress of presents

On Christmas morning

Or slept through Sunday afternoon

While the 49ers played the day away-

I will miss that spot.


The helpless-loud hinge

On the slamming back door

Faithfully signaled

Arrivals and Departures

With more accuracy than any airport terminal.

That creak had a comfort,

It meant someone was home.


The deck, joined at the hip

To that ancient oak tree,

Serves up memories like

It served up summer-meals.

It’s made room for

Barbecues, birthday parties,

And homemade ice cream.

Family tradition so real and sweet,

It simply sticks to you.


That downstairs bedroom,

Reincarnated from little girls’ room

To master suite,

Knew the sound of child’s play

And teenage tears.

A thousand secrets

Stored from days long ago,

When time was plenty

And worries were few.


The dining nook,

Too small to call a room,

Tucked under the eaves all cozy

Was the perfect morning-place.

For there, the sun floods

And lets you know the day’s begun.

How many times did we set the table

And sit in that space

To share a meal or read The Word?

More than we can count.


Usually, when there is plenty

There is little want.

But now, I want more time

In this memory-rich space

To eat just a few more bites

Of the feast that is yesterday.


Yes, leaving your home is hard.

You’ve done it routinely for years,

But this turning it over to another

To inhabit

And cherish




may 2014


Dedicated to my parents who are moving into the future, which means down south where new memories wait to be made and to my sibs, Kristy and Andy, whose love and laughter loom large in every last memory this home holds.






This entry was posted in Celebrating Family, Holidays, To Honor and Remember, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Leaving Home

  1. Can’t say liking your post is right Kerry … childhood memories are so bittersweet and leaving them is so not easy; but may they remain forever embedded upon your precious heart. ‘Tis a beautiful ode … thank you for sharing.

  2. Beautifully written Kerry!

  3. Jan Kurtz-Puga says:

    This resonates more with me as my mom died unexpectedly this past March…although my dad still lives in their home, it isn’t the same. Miss you, Kerry, and hope all is well with you and all ‘my’ kids.

    • Hi Jan- I’m sorry about the loss of your mom. This has to be a difficult day for you. I will tell all “your” kiddos hello for sure. Breathe in that mountain air at school for me.

  4. mary smith says:

    Kerry, beautiful heart revealed! I bet there are enough memories to write a book or two!

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