Monday, September 05, 2005

The House That Gets A Second Chance

My parents never slept in the same bedroom after I was born. They fought with each other every day in a never-ending battle to Be Right. The real struggle was over my dad's inability to hold a job and adequately support his family. Oh, and the drinking was a real problem too.

I don't blame my mom for being bitter. After she passed away, my sister and I sorted through all of her old papers, notes and photos. It's obvious that she truly loved my dad in the early years and then there was a slow and tedious decent into bitterness and unhappiness.

My dad barely made $100 per month throughout all of my childhood. He was frequently fired from his jobs or he quit. My mom had to make a lot of phone calls to family members to borrow money. That must have killed her.

Yet through all of those awful years of yelling, cussing and threatening one another, my mom defended my dad at all times to other people.

I can't figure this out. She was so desperately unhappy yet she refused to leave him, refused to divorce, and refused to admit the problems to anyone outside of the immediate family.

The only time I ever saw her happy was in her last year when she lived with us. Conversely, my dad is the happiest now that he has ever been. Five months after mom's death.

Why, why, why did these people stay in such a belligerent, anxious situation?

These thoughts keep racing through my mind, in part because their house is on the market and I'm preparing to say Goodbye to it forever. My parents owned it for over 50 years and never did anything to maintain or fix it up. They were too busy arguing and being miserable. Now, there is a couple that absolutely loves the house and is making an offer on it.

This lovely, little house withstood an incessant, radiating angst from all five of its inhabitants. My parents, who truly despised one another. An my sisters and me...who lamely tried to dodge the bitterness and often took it out on each other.

But now the slate is wiped clean and any trace of my family has been removed from the house. Hopefully, a new family will move in and build happy memories there.