How Do You Say Goodbye To An Empty House

I’ve said goodbye to a lot of homes.

With Jake’s job transfers, I was always the last one out the door. He was starting his new job in one state,  while I tied up loose ends in the other.

I always felt introspective that last night while I sat in the empty home, alone.

The dog looked around befuddled, as he sat on his bed in the middle of an empty floor. Me, sitting crosslegged on the floor, eating takeout amidst the last bags and boxes. The TV packed up, so just my laptop playing some tunes and falling asleep to all of the echoes.

This move felt different.

It must be this way when you bring your first child into the home.

As I wandered from room to room wiping away fingerprints and dried milk, I kept thinking “This is the room where I nursed Addie, this is the room where we gave her her first bath. . .

The ghosts of the first sleepness nights followed me around – I passed the zombie versions of ourselves handing off the newborn like a football at 2 am in the milk stained hallway so the other could sleep. I heard faint laughter from downstairs where she practiced running back and forth.

My grandma was born in 1912 – the year the Titanic sank. That’s how we’ve always remembered the year. 1912 is my benchmark – everything old is either older or younger than my grandma. This house is older than my grandma.

I used to ask our realtors if the houses we looked at were haunted. I was half-joking. Local rules about disclosing this type of thing seem to vary. Of course I would know something weird like this. They never thought it was very funny, though.

If any house we owned was haunted, it should have been this one. I never felt anything but good energy, though.

On one door frame, I found notes a family used to measure their children’s heights over the years. We also found century-old Cosmopolitan magazine in the attic and a mysterious marble stuck in a floor hole.

Sure, we yelled and fought and cried in the house, but we also laughed and celebrated and unwound. Hopefully the good times add to the 100+ years of good energy for the new owners to come.

It was may many other people’s first home. But it will also always be Addie’s first home.


  1. Katy F

    I’ve always moved a lot (until the last 10 years) and I totally get it! There’s always been something sentimental about most of them! I hope your new house is filled with just many (if not more) wonderful memories!

  2. Kirk

    I hope you enjoy your new home! Good luck and hope all works out well.

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