My Story 39 (I Wasn't Chosen But Still Want to Share)

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My Story 39 (I Wasn't Chosen But Still Want to Share)

Postby boykiad » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:47 pm

I submitted my first writing for "Your Story 39." I enjoyed the challenge thoroughly. Though I wasn't in the Top 5 selected I still want to share...(critiques welcomed)
After my mother died, I decided that there was no need for me to live in Alabama again. Having only one older brother, whom due to our opposing paths in life I was not close to, I left Alabama behind with no foreseeable plans to return.

As an Architect I’ve always been intrigued by bustling cities with impressively structured buildings, and living in Miami, Florida was a longtime dream of mine. I got my first taste of the city during spring break my senior year of undergrad. I was taken by everything I saw, and knew that I would eventually make it my home. My life in Miami was amazing. As a successful, single, childless man, I was able to enjoy all that Miami had to offer. I missed my mom, and over the years I tried to cope by keeping busy. Since her passing, five years ago, I’d consistently surrounded myself with people and things that I felt would take my mind off of my pain. I didn’t even want any of her belongings fearing they'd serve as a reminder that she was gone. In actuality, I placed myself in an unhealthy realm of denial.

My mother had a saying, “Memories are safest in your head and in your heart because there, no one can take them away.” Maybe that’s why I wasn’t sentimental about her belongings. I knew that I couldn’t hold on through her possessions. Even though I lacked sentiment for a lot of things, I always wanted mom’s house preserved. Though my brother and I didn’t speak much, I’d deposit money into his account for the upkeep of the house. It was the place that my mom worked so hard as a widowed parent to maintain. As a young boy I would help paint the shutters, and fix things around the house. She took great pride in our home.

One night as I sat on my couch I began to feel a huge void, and for the first time my home felt like the coldest, darkest, emptiest place that I’d ever been. It lacked love and memories. There was no room that held the memory of the first time I tried a cigarette while mom was away. I glanced over at my dining room table and there was no memory of years worth of holiday dinners with my parents and brother. I realized that I missed my childhood home. I just wanted to stand in my mother’s old room, and envision her humming her favorite song as she combed her hair. I wanted to stand at the kitchen sink, and visualize her looking out the window commenting on the changing seasons as she washed dishes. My mind was made up, I was going home.

As I drove the rental car from the airport through the city that still was very familiar to me, my heart felt heavy. With each elapsed mile I felt more overpowered with anxiety than excitement. As I drove through my old neighborhood, I smiled when I passed the tree that my friends and I would climb. I rounded the corner and a memory of me falling off my bike at that very spot flashed into my head. I was finally on Washington Street, the street that had been the place of my residence for so long. As I pulled parallel to the house and parked my heart dropped! I felt sick. As I opened the door to get out, my legs seemed unable to hold my slender frame. I regained strength, hopped the locked gate, and made my way through knee high grass to what was once my childhood sanctuary. As I got closer I could clearly see the “CONDEMNED” signed nailed to the door. I reached out and touched the shutter that I recalled painting with my mother and it fell to the ground. What had my brother done with the money, and why did he allow our house to get this way? I sat on the cracked cemented porch and years of emotions were uncontrollably released through my tears. As I cried, I distinctively heard my mom’s voice say, “Memories are safest in your head and in your heart because there, no one can take them away.” I then realized that those wonderful memories that were created in that house still existed within me. I got up and walked away from my condemned childhood home for the last time, but taking with me safe untouchable memories.

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