Day 7 — the house on Cedar Avenue

Mom has decided to sell the house that I grew up in by the end of the summer, despite our insistence that she should keep and rent it out. But she refused, and insisted that she wants to get rid of it. And I know my mom very well; once she has made a decision, there is a very unlikely chance that she will reverse it.

By getting rid of the house, I know she wants to end everything with Dad, for once and for all. Currently, both of their names are still listed as owners of the property, with one of my elder brothers acting as Dad’s power of attorney. Being bound together on legal terms is not something she really wants, and she has made it clear of her intention.

Dad left five years ago to be in Vietnam with his mistress, living on a meager income he earns in the name of social security (thanks, America!). Mom has not been the same since, even though she found some peace for her inner self through the happiness from us children and her grandkids, but I know somewhere within that deep hatred for Dad, there is also a sharp thorn that pricks her heart as the one who got left behind.

Today my siblings and I gathered to help her getting rid of junks that have builded up for 20 years. Amongst the carton boxes big and small, I found many framed family photos that she ripped apart, taking out any that had Dad’s face on it.

What were left in those frames were the faded outlines of our feet that once stood together, and hands that once held together to survive the uncharted territory of America. Our bonds were chipped away, with Dad being the one who wanted separation, and now Mom’s decision to leave as well.

With every corner I turned in that house, I saw moving images of the past conjuring. My heart is inundated with memories living in that house, and the years that I considered as some of the happiest and fulfilling years of my life.

As my elder son, PP, has always wished, that he wants a time machine to go back and redo certain things to avoid making mistakes. I, too, want a time machine to go back and revive those happy family life again. I, too, want to go back and put together the faces that belong to the feet and hands of the people who stood next to each other, with big smile and tender hearts, captured in those old family photographs.

And then no one is leaving or being left behind.

Photos of the day — update on my modest garden.

It’s been more than a month since I started practicing my novice gardening skills, with the help and consultation from Youtube videos, and my Iowan-born-farmer neighbors.

Yesterday we harvested our first crop of young lettuce and I made a big bowl of salad. O and the boys approved!

19 thoughts on “Day 7 — the house on Cedar Avenue

  1. Sorry to hear that, in a sense i feel your pain my parents are going through the same process. I hope things workout for the best.

    1. Con cám ơn cô. Mẹ con dạo này khó tính lắm làm con cũng không biết làm sao. Cứ hở chút là mẹ giận, mà nhiều khi con cũng không biết mẹ con giận tụi con cái gì luôn. Cứ đoán mò coi mình có nói chữ nào câu nào phật lòng mẹ không.

      1. Hỏi thẳng mẹ, vì như vậy dễ hiểu Mẹ hơn – cô nghĩ bây giờ Mẹ có tâm sự nhiều la)’m mà không biết nói với ai đó Trang . Cô đơn nữa

      2. cám ơn cô. lúc trước con cũng thường tâm sự với mẹ, mà dạo này mẹ lại ít chịu gặp mới khổ tâm con đó chớ

  2. Ông nội tụi nhỏ nhà chị có vợ bé năm 1970. Đến bây giờ Bà Nội vẫn oán. That betrayal defined the rest of her life. From them we learn what love is not. The result of the turmoil is that the siblings are very close and supportive of one another. Anh em Trang, chị biết- thương mẹ và thương nhau lắm.

    Có vườn rau thích ghê ha? Sáng nay chị mới hái đầy rổ rau cải đắng. Hình hoa cà chua nhà Trang nhìn y chang hình chị chup vườn chị ! 😀

    1. That’s so true, “the betrayal defined the rest of her life.” I feel that is what mom is going through. Sometimes she is so passive aggressive towards us that it’s hard for me to gauge her mood and mental status. Lately she has not spoken to me for a month, not until we went over to the house last Sunday.

      1. Chị để ý là lúc mình về già mình trở lại tính tình bé con. Dễ tủi thân, hay hờn và dỗi.

    1. đúng đó chị. Mà cũng đở là ba em không ở gần, chứ ở gần thì con cái còn phân chia giữa hai người nữa.

  3. Biết rằng căn nhà đó vẫn ngập tràn kỷ niệm ngày xưa. Nhưng biết đâu, sau khi Ngoại tụi nhỏ rời xa nơi đó, Ngoại sẽ cảm thấy nhẹ nhàng hơn chút đó em iu ơi!

    Ôm nhiều nhiều nè!!!

    PS: Vườn rau mấy mẹ con chăm sóc xanh mướt luôn, thích nha! ❤

    1. mẹ cũng nói là mẹ muốn thanh thản khôgn vướn bận chuyện nhà cữa. Thôi thì phải làm theo nguyện vọng của mẹ vậy

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