Posted by: Kathy | June 18, 2009

It’s Just a House Now

In the guest bathroom at my parents’ house there’s a hand towel that says “A home without a dog is just a house.” It reminded me of something my dad said a few days ago. He was talking about how much he missed my mom and how lonely it was in the house. He said that it was no longer a home because my mom wasn’t there anymore. To him it is now just a house.

My parents moved into that house right after it was built more than 35 years ago. It’s the home I grew up in. The only memories that that house holds are ones of our family. Of course the house doesn’t look the same as it did many years ago. Walls have been re-painted, rooms have been re-decorated, old pieces of furniture have been replaced with new ones. But no matter what changed, the house always felt the same to me. I’d walk in the door and it felt like home, even though I haven’t lived there for years and I have a home of my own with my husband and kids.

After my mom died, I’d walk through different rooms of their house and just stop and listen. It’s like I was waiting to hear my mom’s voice again, to walk into a room and see her there. I’m not quite sure when I stopped doing that. I guess at some point I realized that my mom wasn’t there anymore and that she wasn’t coming back. A fact I don’t like, but have learned to slowly, very slowly, accept.

I’ve never said this before, but the house doesn’t feel the same way to me as it did say a year ago, and I know it’s because my mom isn’t there anymore. So I can understand when my dad says that the house no longer feels like a home. My parents’ house holds so many memories, good memories that make it a home. And through those memories my mom is still with us. Even though the house doesn’t hold the same feeling, it’s still home to me. And I hope that one day it can become a home again for my dad. 


  1. Thank you for sharing this post with me Kathy, it is comforting as always to know that another has shared the same feeling. A changing home is so difficult, and something that most people can’t understand… I appreciate your experience so much.

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