Mom’s and Dad’s house is empty of the objects that made it our home. In fact, worse — the built-ins have been torn down with the most ginormous crowbar and sit as wreckage in the living room.
The apartment looks like sullied shambles of an ordinary place.
But it isn’t ordinary. It is where our young lives happened and generations argued and celebrated, laughed and cried, welcomed new life and mourned those who died.
And it is ok that realtors fix a value to a life-battered, empty, and unrenovated space. The price is what the market will bear. Memories don’t add value. How could they? They are only priceless and unique to us who lived them. And those memories — the love and hurts and pain and epiphanies (few) — don’t live there. They live in the three of us — my siblings and me.
So, on Saturday, as we schlepped the last boxes of slides and books that HOSOB (husband of sister of blogger) so lovingly packed up, POB (partner of blogger) asked me if I wanted to take down the mezzuzah on the doorpost of house.
I couldn’t. At the time, I didn’t understand my visceral “nooooooo!”
Later, I realized that removing the mezzuzah was the final, symbolic gesture that would transform my parents’ home to a vacant apartment up for sale.
But, at the time, I knew it was too much for me to bear. And too much to do alone. It was a moment that needed all of us kids to do.
So, I will wait for SOB (sister of blogger). Next weekend, she and I, with our brother on the phone, will take down the mezzuzah. We, three. Together.
And, we, three, together, will close a chapter.