it was more than a house. it was a home.

this is a tough post to write.

i have moved a lot in my life. so, i’ve said goodbye to many houses, many homes. and each one has left me wiping a few tears from my eyes as i closed the door for the last time. it’s a really emotional thing for me to move, to leave a home behind. on the one hand, i always feel deep sadness because so many memories have been made within the walls of the home. but on the other hand, i am most always ready for the next adventure that comes.

even if it’s difficult, i’m pretty good at closing doors and moving on. but, true to my sappy self, i must always pause for a moment and soak in all the memories. i must take a few minutes and spend some time grieving for the loss and feeling thankful for all of the experiences and life that has been lived behind the doors of the home. i must, in other words, say goodbye.

and then i’m ready to move on.

today my parents are moving out of their beach house.

for the past 10ish years they have had a house at the beach & a house in the mountains. they’re retired, and they’ve been back & forth, basically living in both places. it’s been amazing how things worked out like that for them. and, of course, it was great for me & my brother (and our families) as well. hehe. it’s been a place that we’ve gone during the summers and even during christmas sometimes… always to just relax.

the best thing about the beach house was the fact that it was on the water, and that it had a dock. it was the place to be – alone or with others, to find true, quiet peace. the dock was the place for so many important moments… sipping coffee early in the morning with my love. having chats with my mom. hanging out with my dad, as he played with his boats. watching my brother fish. sitting & drinking a beer or a glass of wine in the afternoon with family. watching the little crabs crawl on the dock and the fish jump in the water. and every now and then, seeing a dolphin swim by. a place to begin the day in silence and solitude. and a place to end the day, with the sea breeze blowing, the stars up above, and the quiet of the night. the dock was my place of peace, a corner in the world that was all mine. i always felt safe, whole, calm, and completely grounded when i was there. such a tiny space, just big enough for 3 or 4 chairs. but it was the simplicity that made it so special.

but, today i say goodbye to that place. and i say goodbye all the way from sweden, after not having been there in a year and a half. the last time i was there was the summer of 2011. and right now, that feels like a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. i think it makes this transition easier. but, i never had a chance to stand there & say goodbye for the last time.

while i feel a hole in my heart now & my soul is crying, as i imagine another family taking over the home & making their own memories, i also feel ok. Β i feel ok because i realize that my connection to the beach is not gone. not at all. the beach where my parents lived for the past 10ish years, is a place that has been part my life for the past 38 years. yes, that’s my whole life. some of my ancestors are from there. and, for the past 28 years, my family (including 3 cousins, 2 aunts, & 2 uncles) has gathered at the beach for a week every summer. it has been a tradition that has been perhaps the only thing that has remained constant in my life (seeing as i have moved around so much).

i don’t know my childhood friends, i don’t ever see people from high school, and i have no real hometown. but, i don’t regret any of that. i love that i’ve moved a lot. however, the beach, with or without my parents’ house, has and always will be part of my life. the one thing that always remains is my family and our commitment to meeting there every year.

this summer lina & i did not make it home to north carolina, so there was no trip to the beach for us. but, there was actually no beach week for the rest of my family either. very, very sad. however, here & now, i am making a promise to my brother, nick (and his wife) & my cousins, lindsey (and her husband & kid), and kat & tom, that i will… we will find a way to continue this tradition. this is too important to let fade away. this is part of who we are, the reynolds clan. we will not give up. my family & our traditions are priority to me. beach week lives on!

so, while i’m are saying goodbye to my parents’ beach house today, i am not saying goodbye to the beach, to the place that holds an incredibly special place in my heart.

it has been an amazing gift to be able to make the memories that we’ve made there, and now it’s time to move on. time to make new memories in the midst of holding on to our old traditions.

with a heavy heart i bid you goodbye… beautiful, peaceful, fun, memory-filled beach home. Β thank you for all of the amazing moments in life that you have given me.Β i will miss you so much, more than i can say.

but, now. i am ready. i dry my tears from my cheek and close the door behind me. and with my family, i move on to the next adventure.

peace & love.

15 comments

  1. Saying goodbye is so hard – but you’re right – also a time to say hello to what’s ahead. If I had written it I’d have sobbed on the keyboard. Beautifully done :)

    Xoxo

  2. Such a very beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing your good-bye to this very special place…..and for determining that you will find a way to continue the most meaningful tradition of gathering with your family at the beach, on the ocean. Because really the actual physical structure doesn’t matter. What matters are the connections you, and any of us, share and nurture with one another….the “home” we create in our coming together and being together. So glad I discovered your blog via “Carly’s Cloud”…another blog I’m glad to have found.

    Peace be with you and yours…

    • liz

      thank you so much for your comforting words. they ring so true for me… “home” is not actually a place, but a gathering of people. and my family will figure out how to move forward. :)

  3. What a beautiful memory. Cherish it. So many never ever have anything like this in their short lives on this earth, and never will, Liz. You are extremely blessed & lucky.

    T

    • liz

      heartbreaking… it was a beautiful place. but, there will be something else beautiful moving forward. it’ll be exciting to see.

  4. I counted the other day that in the last 10 years (I am only 25!) I have had 16 bedrooms… I always leave with a heavy heart, however short I’ve been somewhere. It’s the weirdness of not returning that I find hard… My home in Manchester where I lived over 2 years before the mentalness of the last year is the really surreal one. I can see the building from my new place, feels good but surreal…
    I hear you…
    Next now huh!

    • liz

      yes! on to the next thing! but, the pain of leaving something behind still aches. crazy that you can see your old building, a little bit of the new & old mixing in one way. i suppose that can be painful & a good reminder of where you are now at the same time.

      i’m glad there’s another mover out there. xo

  5. it is hard to say goodbye to memories as that is what you say goodbye to. Not so much the place itself but memories of people and feelings. There is good and bad in every situation. Bad – you might never be able to go back to that beach house and have little things remind you of relationships and events. Good – you still have people to make new memories. You still have these people to say “I love you” to…

    • liz

      exactly! you totally got what i was saying. :) i’m really lucky to have a family that understands it as well, so we keep on making new memories, but perhaps in new places.

  6. What a touching post! I truly love the beach and can see how your family makes it a very special place for the clan to share and get together. I hope one day you will find a way in making the sand your home and reuniting different generations once again.

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