Essay: My House

Feb 1, 2019

When I die, I will leave the people I love which makes me sad.  But what really bothers me—and I confess this with a certain embarrassment—is leaving my house.  As a house, it’s not that special—an old, two-story, needs-work place—but as a source of shelter and security, it has never let me down.  I can’t say that about people.

I know I’m supposed to love people more than things and I do.  But I can depend on my house.  Growing up with an alcoholic mother and an angry father, I didn’t go to my parents for comfort.  I went to my room.  There on the twin bed, I wrapped up in my blue blanket and read books. 

This pattern has prevailed, despite the many safe people in my life now.  There are still times when push comes to shove—and I shelter in place.  Today that place is my beloved little breakfast nook where I sit and write and stare out the window. 

Which is why I find it difficult—impossible!—to imagine someone else living here.  Someone else’s furniture in the living room, their food in the cupboards.  Their voices, their smells.

When I die, I will leave the people I love—and the house I love.  As a house, it’s not that special but as a refuge, it has been everything.