Monday, March 28, 2011

What Makes a House A Home?

This spring we embark on a new adventure, one that none of us look forward to. It involves a childhood home, an elderly mom, a lot of big decisions, and the end of an era. There are sure to be tears involved, because not one of us can look at the house without seeing Dad everywhere, and none of us can let it go without feeling a stab of grief for Mom, who is no longer really able to make the tough choices or do the physical labor involved in the task.
This has been home for our entire lives and part of it will always be. The memories are there, held inside the walls of a tiny house on Mohawk Street, floating through the yards, both front and back, and spreading out into the streets where we played with our friends as children. For fifty-five years it has been "The Plotzker's House" and for nearly thirty years we've called it "Grandma and Grandpa's." I find it difficult to imagine it with any other name.
I listened to my mother's cousin speak at his father's memorial service last week. He talked of cleaning out his parent's house and it struck me how this is most often a job left to the children. There was a certain comfort in knowing we are not alone. We will sort through belongings with love and tenderness, make repairs with utmost respect, and grieve the loss. Part of me is ready to let go and another part is already trying to hold on.
I must remember the gift and surrender it back to the One who gives all things, knowing He is near. How much better to offer it back with open hands than to struggle to hold on to what already belongs to Him.

338. A childhood home
339. Lots of happy memories.


  1. Rachel, I didn't mean to make you cry. Please forgive me once again.

    I love you!

  2. I love the way you show respect and love for your parents. I love the way you appreciate them and are thankful for them.

    I cried too Rachael. I can't even begin to imagine how it must feel for all of you who are intimately involved.

    I love the way you all show your love and appreciation for your parents and tell of your thankfulness for them.

    It is good to know "the God of all comfort" in times like these.

  3. Joy, it is one thing to write love, respect, and appreciation into a blog post. It quite another to feel and display it on a continual basis. I assure you, I am quite human and fail more often than I care to admit.

  4. Hello, I just came across your blog and was touched by this post. I love the last sentence! My husband and I have been trying to get my 80 year old mother to come live with us but such a hard decision for her.
    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Such a hard task before you, Martha. ((Hugs))

  6. "I must remember the gift and surrender it back to the One who gives all things, knowing He is near. How much better to offer it back with open hands than to struggle to hold on to what already belongs to Him."
    This is a good way to look at it. This is not easy. I love you too.

  7. This is something I am so not looking forward to but know will come at some point. I wish you much peace as you go through this journey and hoping goes as easily as it possible can.

  8. Martha,
    This task is one that will NOT be an easy one. I have been through it...thankfully my siblings & I never argued about anything and it flowed quite smoothly because of that. My sister & her husband took my dad into their home, so we gave them the responsibility of the money distribution from the sale of the house (they needed extra money to care for my dad). God will get you through it, and when all is said & done...time heals. I am praying for you always, my friend. I'm here for you!

  9. Oh Martha...I can't even imagine how this feels. We moved so many times during my childhood that I never was attached to a particular home. And I never lived in the house my parents are in now. I'm sure there are very strong attachments to every inch of that house! If the walls could only talk, huh!? lol.

    Big hugs to you..and your whole family. Remember ...nobody can take the memories away! You have those forever! xo

  10. Cleaning out and selling my mom's home when she passed was hard. She did get to stay there until her passing, for that we were grateful.
    You're shared your heart so beautifully...I love you! I also love the book you sent me...Life changing, isn't it?

  11. Betsy, if you only knew. :) And I know I am blessed to have called it home forever.

    Yes, Wanda, it is. I am so glad God is in the business of changing lives.

  12. Thinking of you all. Wish I could drop by for a visit.

  13. Tracy, that would be amazing. :)