Having my best friends stay at my house the night
before my wedding, because sleepovers and stories of
“remember when” with your besties just never get old.
Where we gathered for countless Christmas celebrations, and where two of my four kids took their first steps.
The backyard pool where an American flag was
always flown and all my kids learned to swim. And where
one, perched on the diving board for the first time without her life jacket, looked at her Kelly doll, whispered
“You first!” and threw her in. Watching her doll sink,
she jumped in, grabbed her, and has never waited for
someone else to go first again. Thanks, backyard pool.
The big picture? To some, it’s “just a house” … but
it was our home, and I will miss it. These memories, my
parents, my family, and so many others helped shape
who I am today. I hope the new family who lives there
will be as blessed as we were in that home. Because it’s
not easy letting go. ■
Today our childhood home sells to a new family. Some days, I wish I could go back in life. Not to change anything, but to feel a few things twice. No matter
what, this was our home base, our refuge from all the chaos
and heartbreak that the world could bring. And because of
the loss of our dad, and now our mom—plus distance, time,
and circumstance—my brother and I have had to quickly
disassemble that whole life.
I know the locks will change, but I’ll keep a key just to
remember who I was, where I came from, and all of the
people along the way. To remind me of …
Blueberry pancakes poolside.
The Holly Hobbie décor that made my third-grade bedroom fit for a princess and made me promise I’d never ask
for another thing again.
My brother and I playing with my dad’s silk maps and
flight gear, pretending to be just like him. Not realizing that
one day we’d both be so lucky to actually live out those same
dreams of flight.
Coming home from high school, or college, or overseas,
and walking into the kitchen and finding friends chatting
with your parents because they were those parents.
The stories in the kitchen, celebrating first jobs, lost jobs,
first loves, and lost loves. But mostly laughter and love.
The smell of fried chicken done just right in a cast-iron
pan—no thermometer required.
CAREY LOHRENZ, CSP,
is an author, speaker, and the first
female F- 14 Tomcat fighter pilot in
the U. S. Navy. CareyLohrenz.com
BY CAREY LOHRENZ, CSP
In the midst of grief,