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!