I recognized them all along…the sad houses. When I was really young it was more of a feeling than anything else, but as I grew older that feeling was accompanied by what I saw when looking at different houses. Being a quiet child, I never asked anyone if they saw what I saw when looking at different houses … or felt anything as well.
Growing up we never lived in a proper house. Apartments at times, but the norm was a small trailer … they were not call mobile homes in those days. My father had his own construction company building bridges all over the state. We moved where the jobs were until I had to begin school at the age of almost seven.
Looking back, the first sad house I remember was an old farmhouse where my grandmother lived when I was less than two years old. Having no money and barely any means of support, a relative let my grandmother and her two youngest live in a house on his black dirt farm way out in the middle of nowhere. The boys must have done some farm work for him and I vaguely remember my grandmother working in his house doing what amounted to maid duties. Of course as a small child I didn’t know the particulars and when I became an adult I didn’t think to ask about that time in her life. Now, all parties concerned are long dead so that mystery continues.
As I got older, more and more sad houses reached out to me. It was always the windows like eyes to their soul that told me the sadness within … not the stories of the house, but years of sadness hid inside.
My childhood home now seems to be the latest sad house in my life. Everyone is gone but me, and I rattle around in the rooms empty of people and feel the very soul of the house quietly slip away. Outside, the windows no longer seem inviting and cheery when I drive down and follow the curve leading to the back driveway. I feel the house and it’s sadness. I know exactly why and how that feeling lingers. We are both the end of the line so to speak with no family left to inherit structure and contents. What will happen when I am gone?
© 2016 Annie Original Non-Fiction