We’re Coming Home

Posted: February 1, 2014 in Community, Family


Tonight, I did something I hadn’t done in a while. Tonight, in an empty house nestled beside a frozen river, surrounded by lovely birch trees and old pines, snuggled up against a fine Canadian winter….I spoke to my brother Bob. The house is empty because the previous owners moved away yesterday, having occupied this home for the past 21 years, until finally the house pushed them out so that I could return to my favorite childhood home, return as an adult with my own fine family.

Today my wife and I opened the doors to the first full day of ownership of what will become our family homestead. We measured, we planned, we chose colours, we chose finishes, we chose flooring, we plotted how we would transform this already lovely home into something that will both honour our past and define our future. It was a stressful wonderful chaotic day that once again proved to us why we are so compatible. We have a plan now. When we are done, the bones will be the same, but the flavour will be changed, but not completely.

But like a long drawn-out breath, where all you can hear is your heart beat in your eardrums, when it seems like time stands still, we have this moment to sit and talk to my brother. To reminisce about times spent laughing, playing, learning and loving. And before one nail is put in, before one brush can paint the walls and trim, before anything can be done to transform the home into something else….we sit and talk to Bob.

Tomorrow, my parents, now becoming old and frail, and my sisters, are going to visit and reminisce in their own ways however they wish. And talk to Bob. Before we change the energy and make it something else, it is presently as close as it will ever be to the home we left in 1974, the last home where all 7 of us lived together as one. Almost as if the house is sitting on a nexus of time and energy, ready to proceed forward through time as it must, it awaits one final walk through of nostalgia. It is serendipity once again for my family. It is an opportunity to reach out and talk to Bob in as pure a form as I can presently imagine. And to honour my parents, we are going to do this together.

Bob, my brother whom I loved so dearly, left us 494 days ago. I miss him so much. We all do. He left an indelible mark our lives. He was both larger than life yet so unassuming. He was one of the best people I ever had the privilege to know. And tonight I talked to him. Tonight we spoke of ball hockey in the stairs, of hide and seek, of sneaking  cans of pop in the basement, of things we never told our parents, of tricks we played, of laughing until we cried, and crying until we laughed. We spoke of family, of friends, of pets.

It is a rare chance indeed that I am experiencing something I never thought I would, and I am eternally grateful for this most awesome of opportunities. And I get to share it with my loved ones. And to remember that despite the fact that time is passing us by, we have to stop and smell and look and feel and love one another. To make memories, to remember old times and to make new ones. To love, honour, and cherish.

Bob, thanks for the talk. I needed it. See you tomorrow,

  1. carmen braddick says:

    just absolutely beautiful..you are shurley one lucky family.

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