Let’s Talk About It: Holding onto family history

Posted in the Senior Times Nov/2016

When we’re young we want to forge a new identity and separate ourselves from our parents and their possessions; when we’re older we want to reclaim those possessions and keep them close to us.

There were two moves prior to the family home where I lived for 20 years, the most stable home of my life. After I moved out of my parents’ home to my first apartment, I moved 11 more times. A marriage, a child, a divorce, and employment opportunities led me on my journey.

From apartments, duplexes, and other rentals, I ventured into the real estate market buying my first home with strong encouragement from my daughter who thought living within a block of her school would suit her just fine. When she pursued her studies outside Montreal, the thought downsizing to a condo would be attractive.

This worked out great until she moved to her own place. This prompted me to move to a smaller condo in a more desirable area, which is where I live now. When I had purchased this apartment I knew it was too small, but I was pressured to buy it because I only had a month to find something new.

This is why I am now contemplating another move to a larger space.

I was happy with each and every move but none felt like a permanent home. I have no regrets in choosing any of these homes, and although moving was stressful and challenging, I engaged the right people to assist me. But I have to say, it’s the change that excites me.

The only attachment I’ve ever felt was to my family home where I lived for two decades.  With mixed emotions I recently sold my parents’ home. I felt the need to keep as many furnishings as possible, close to my heart. I saw furnishings that never appealed to me in a new light. I’m now happy that my mother didn’t believe in change and made forever choices. So here I am again, considering moving so that I can house the memories of my family home.

My father was always ready for a change and tried his best to make minor changes where he could. He didn’t last long with a new car before dreaming of the next one, a trait that he passed on to me. We loved car shopping together.

Intellectually I understand that my memories are in my heart and not in material possessions. But my heart warms when I am surrounded by possessions that I grew up with, in them I see beauty where others may not. Perhaps one day I won’t feel the need to have these material reminders of my childhood, but until then, I am planning another move so that I can be surrounded by the possessions that hold beautiful memories for me.