This summer has been very different – not only for myself, but also my family. The house and other properties, including our beach which overlooks Highland Lake, in Winsted, Connecticut where my family moved into in 1956 – and where I spent most of my life – is no longer ours, having been sold this past winter. But then, the neighborhood that we lived in for many years has already become a thing of the past – many of the people whom we were proud to call our friends and neighbors for most of our lifetimes have since either moved on or have passed away, a solemn reminder of the realities that we can’t ignore, especially as we get older.
There were other factors why my family’s lives have greatly changed in the past few years – including those of a financial nature that played a major role in our home ending up being sold, a situation that’s hardly isolated, especially if your parents are in the twilight of their lives. My family knew that my mother couldn’t live in her house forever, given her age and health issues – but when she fell and broke her right leg at home almost two years ago, it was definitely a clear sign that things had greatly changed and beyond our power to reverse. And once we realized that my mother would spend the rest of her life in a nursing home – the home that we grew up in started to cease becoming just that.
The last time I was inside my former home was this past February, not long before it was sold to the present owners – by the time I left it for good, I knew that an important part of my life was gone forever. In the past few months, while I have returned several times to the very area where my family lived for many years, I have not entered my former home and stepped on any other properties once belonging to my family – partly because it was no longer part of my life, which brought to mind author Thomas Wolfe’s famous quote “You can’t go home again.” And as much as we’d like to occasionally return to where our lives were shaped – we know full well that it’s more important to move forward with our lives.
In many respects, I miss the great times that we had at our family’s former home, and the memories linked to them, which can never be fully erased. But as important as the past is to us – so is the present, as well as the future, which’ll be determined mainly by how, where, and when we truly shape it. And I hope the future will be a lot easier, not only for my family, but also those we love and respect – including all future generations and the legacy that they’ll both inherit and preserve.
John Lavernoich is the author of three books (including the first two Chameleons, Inc. novels), as well as various non-fiction articles and short stories that have been published in print and on the Internet. To learn more about Mr. Lavernoich and his various creative accomplishments, please check out the following websites listed below:
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