Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's The Oddest Little Things That Matter...

I received a text message from my brother Joe earlier today that the old house was going thru the selling process, and that everything would most likely be finalized by the end of the month.

My parents bought that house - a row home in the outer edges of West Philly - nearly 60 years ago. It was their first and only home. My sister Val was not yet a year old when they moved in. I came along nine years later. That place was home to us seven. Always was, always will be.

I had been preparing for this. I knew when I went back east for my Dad's funeral last March that that would be the last time I would ever walk in that house. But I knew that it was inevitable. And I knew that it wouldn't hit me emotionally until the next time I'm back east (whenever that will be), and I drive by that house knowing I can never walk thru that door again. I'm ok with that. For now, I guess. The distance of 3000 miles helps.

At work today I was telling one of my bosses about the news (above) and about the house, and how the seven of us lived in the house over the years. Happy times. Fond memories. I said I was ok and prepared about this moment. But what was more difficult for me was the turning off of the phone line. That old landline. That number that is as old as that house.

When I moved to California 19 years ago (time flies) I made a promise to my parents to always call on Sunday evening to let them know how I was doing. And I did. And when my Mom passed away a little over 11 years ago I started to call twice a week to keep in touch with my Dad. Sundays and Wednesdays. And that was my routine for nearly every week since then.

The last two times I called that number were the night before dad died (a Wednesday eve), the last time I spoke with him, and the day he died (knowing my siblings would be there). After the funeral I flew back to CA. I thought about calling that number again. But I didn't. 

In May, my brother Joe asked if it was ok with each one of us to turn off the landline. I told him that many, many times I thought about dialing that number, like old times. Maybe wanting to hear Dad's voice on the answering machine. But each time I just couldn't. I just... couldn't. I told Joe it was ok to shut off the line. Everyone had agreed, and so... that was that.

And today I relayed that story at work. And for the first time in a loooong time, I welled up with emotion, and the tears started flowing. It shocked me how, out of the blue, those emotions came right back to the surface. Dear God how I miss my Dad, and my Mom, and that house, and... that phone number.

Maybe it was because today was the 12th anniversary of that horrible terrorist attack on U.S. soil that triggered the flood of emotions. I don't know. And I can't even imagine the depths of the emotions of those who have lost loved ones on this tragic day 12 years ago.

We feel the loss because we felt the love. Experienced it. Miss it. Want it back again.

Prayers to all of you who have experienced the loss of loved ones over the years. Especially to those who lost their loved ones in NYC, DC and Shanksville on 9/11.

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