The House Where I Lived


Last night was strange. Unusual. Odd. Maybe eerie. Tonight will be too. And the next. The place is familiar, it’s the home I grew up in, and the place my mom has lived for almost 78 years. Except now she’s in a different type of home. Some call it a nursing home, mom calls it a women’s prison. Harsh? Yeah, that’s my mom. I visited earlier this year, in the springtime, but my visit was cut short due to a family emergency back in Bako. The week after I left, mom fell and broke her foot. It was probably the fourth fall she has taken in the last year. It was the first time she hurt herself. How 98 year old bones with just 98 pounds hanging on them can survive some good tumbles I’ll never know, but this time she knew her independent days in her own home were over. The walker was no longer a magic tool, her legs were tired and unsteady. She listened to her brain and allowed herself to be taken care of for the first time ever. Now she has a new home.

MOM’S NEW HOMESt Anthony NursingSo, now I’m alone in this familiar place for the first time ever, and I find that memories, pictures, furniture, familiar clock sounds and the ’86 chevy in the garage don’t make a house a home. Mom’s in her new home, but this place is now just a museum.

Months ago, as I was planning my return Indiana trip to see mom, kids and grand kids, I told a friend about how strange it would be to go back home, alone in the house I left (for adulthood) some 50 years ago. My friend has always been a wonderful writer and poet. She sent me the poem below last July, and I’m amazed at how she captured the exact story and mood.

Thank you my friend. Thank you for allowing me to share your words.

The House Where I Lived

As summer arrives
Year after year
I travel back home
to the house where I lived
to visit and care for mom

Warmth and love await me
Memories flood my mind
of earlier times
as a boy
growing up in the house where I lived

This year, my trip was cut short
I left in a hurry
Never knowing that I would never again
care for mom
in the house where I lived

And now, as fall arrives, I will travel again
to the house where I lived
Empty of mom; empty of warmth
to meet with my brother
pending a sale

I walked through the house
Remembering and feeling the love that was there
the laughter and the tears
the sadness and the darkness
that comes with the house where I lived

Winter has arrived
Mom is in a care home
bringing laughter and love to all
as she did back home
in the house where I lived
—-Pamela C.

About bakoheat

Writer/Musician
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6 Responses to The House Where I Lived

  1. Barbara Hahn says:

    our best to your sweet Mom…please tell her we think of her often.

  2. fiddlrts says:

    Well written. Poem and post.

  3. Ed Mugg says:

    Is my Dorthy in a new home. I know it is a good one. My mother (Ann) was there for a stint. Dan, can we call her? I love her so.

    Ed Mugg

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