I remember a similar feeling when my parents sold our house in Dallas, the house where I grew up, more or less. This dull aching inside, accompanied by a knotted stomach, signifying the end of a very meaningful history. For the Dallas house, it was 12 years living with the three people in the world I love the absolute most. We were a small family, complete with various cats and a dog, sometimes a gerbil or two, and every minute spent in that sweet little home added something priceless to the woman I am today. I remember that house perfectly. I remember ever corner, every tree, every unsuccessful attempt to grow grass, every game of detective, every birthday party, and every slammed door from that red-brick house on Applegate. It felt, and sometimes still feels like a part of my family.
I know that's cheesy. I know it's silly to love a building that much, to make it that meaningful to myself and be so sad when it's gone. But it's kind of like the neat little package that bundles up all my most pleasant memories, and what do I do with them when it disappears? One by one, they start to disappear, too, little pieces of me, memories of things and people and a beautiful life just begin to face away with time.
This house is much the same as that little red one on Applegate, but its contents are so much more full and real, because I've been an adult all these eight years. Ramshorn is a perfect home. I can see the famous Long's Peak from my kitchen window. I keep my window open year round, because the air's so fresh, I hate to miss a second of it. Elk and dear and coyotes and bears traipse through our "yard" like we're in the middle of the zoo, and no matter what time of year, how hot or cold, this house always stays the perfect temperature. The part I love most about the house itself is its location. Besides all those things previously mentioned, it's also perfectly situated on the edge of Estes, so that in the middle of the night, you can't hear a blessed thing, and not much more during daylight hours. I've grown to love the stillness out here.
The memories here, of course, besides being more mature, are different in other ways, too. This house was my dad's. He touched every surface in this house, every plane; he died here. My dad's life ended right here, on the middle level bathroom floor. But in some ways, my dad's life also began in this house. He was a new man when he and my mom moved here in 2002. He was the same Mr. Ed, loving and kind, gentle and humble, but he was different, too. He liked his jobs, he got my mom all to himself, he made incredible friends, and every single day he got to wake up to mountains and that sweet fresh air I love so.
Every moment I spent with my dad (and mom) in this house was perfect and priceless. The walls, if they could, would speak of the love that passed here, and would whisper stories of that happy little family from Dallas, Texas who planted here, grew here, and ultimately left here.
That is why my heart breaks.