AUGUST 1998 |
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ELIZABETH DUMONT lives in Bristol, CT. She is a contributing writer for Renaissance Online Magazine.
I was born in this house some thirty-seven years ago, and it has always been a place of stability and security to me.
There were, of course, times as a young adult when I longed to escape into the real world. Venturing forth the year after my father died, I found out what that meant. I was bombarded with many surprises, more than my tired and meager budget could stand. Obstinate, I told myself there was no going back. But a year of solitude under my belt and not much else changed my mind. I called my mother and she made room for me. "It's only temporary," I said.
It took two years to recover financially, and by then the itch to get back out was fierce. I found a wonderful apartment and broke the news to my mother. She worried that I still didn't earn enough -- and she was probably right. The door, she said, would always be open. Thinking back, I realize I needed to hear that as much as she needed to say it.
I loved that apartment, and I liked the ones that followed too, but something was missing. Something just wasn't right. It was almost indescribable, but I knew I felt it.
I took sick not too long ago, my kidneys succumbing to the affects of diabetes, and I had to give up my job, such as it was. Once again, I turned to Mom for help. I love her; she is always there. It was, however, a great adjustment learning to live with her again after so many years. We are managing. We are friends.
As I said, I was born in this house. It's an old and creaky place, but that comes with age. Those groans we hear in the walls and the age spots we see on the ceiling are just our family's history seeping through the crevices, marking the level of our full lives.
Things have changed, to be sure. Our neighborhood is not beyond the grasp of society. We are the only original tenants left on our tiny street. Even our old landlord has gone and sold the property.
We no longer feel safe and secure here. We hide behind deadbolts and window shades. We wince at the thuds overhead and wonder if the little boy upstairs will ever go to bed.
Although my mother and I are leaving here soon, this place is home to me, and I guess it will always be that way. But we have left our mark here and it has felt good.
We are moving on -- to a new place called home.
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