For some reason, this week plays a big role in my family's history.
Twenty-one years ago this Saturday, my mother, sister and I boarded a plane bound for Memphis International Airport and a new life in Booneville, Mississippi. My dad stayed in England to sell our house. We didn't know then that our family would never truly reconnect. The house sold and my dad came to the States, but his music industry background was not a good fit for Mississippi or even Nashville. Work took him to New York City, and for the next 20 years, he spent the majority of his time on the road.
Today, almost 21 years after our family parted ways in a crowded London airport terminal, my parents are officially divorced. There isn't any point in dwelling on the whys (sort of obvious, I suppose) and what ifs, but it seemed fitting to mark this day with a blog post. It's also important to mention that my sister and brother-in-law buy their first house this afternoon, and we will sell our Oxford condo on Friday.
Ten years ago, the condo was nearing completion. I was moving out of my parents' house in Booneville and heading to Ole Miss. It was the most difficult summer of my life (perhaps even more difficult than the summer of 1992). I was recovering from a painful breakup that wouldn't end, I was in school all summer, I was getting ready to leave home forever and although we didn't know it just yet, my grandma was dying of cancer. I remember our first July 4th in that condo, celebrating our nation's birthday and shooting video of every room to share with my grandma. I'm not sure she ever saw it. Traveling with a videocamera wasn't easy in those early post-2011 days, and those last trips to her bedside in late July and early August were a blur.
Before we knew it, she was gone. Two days later, I moved to Oxford. Within a matter of hours (literally), my next door neighbor would come into my life and change things forever. We had an instant connection, although we were only neighbors and friends for the first few months. During that first week, he installed a peephole in my door (a very neighborly thing to do) and met nine-month-old Oliver for the first time. That condo is filled with memories from our first three years of togetherness, just like our current house is filled with our last five years of memories. Isn't it funny how memories are connected with a place? Now we're getting ready to let them go all in the same month. Jonathan said something recently that stuck with me. We're growing up and saying goodbye to childhood. We're putting much of our past to bed, and we're gearing up for the next chapter.
Here are a few photos of the condo. It's filled with my sister's furniture here, except for the bookshelf, which Jonathan put together for me, and the dining room rug, which often had Ollie hairballs on it.
Despite a very sad beginning, we had a wonderful life there together. We will never forget it.