Last November, my mom told me she was planning on selling the house that my family lived in for nearly 12 years and even though I hadn’t lived there full-time since I was eighteen, my heart sank. I loved that house, and loved knowing that I could come home to it on long weekends and holidays. I’d just moved from LA to New York a few months prior and was nowhere near settled, so the idea of loosing a place that felt like home–familiar and secure– was heartbreaking.
My mom reassured me that a house is just a house, and said her new home would have the same homey feeling. “You come home to be with family” she reminded me “it’s not the about the house.” She was right, but still.
On the day before it officially sold, I walked around the empty house, remembering all of the good times we had there. I looked at the spot where we used to put the Christmas tree and pictured my family sitting on the sofas, opening presents with Norwegian Christmas music playing softly in the background. Then I stood where my bed used to be and reflected on the countless times my best friend and I had sat there talking about practically everything. Standing there, I thought about the girl I was when we first moved in, just about to start 8th grade. I couldn’t help but smile remembering some of the big dreams I dreamt in that room, a few of which I am slowly but surely achieving today.
On the day of the closing, the new owners brought my mom a small box, topped with a single flower from the Plumeria tree in our front yard. It contained handmade magnets featuring the unique details that made our home special.
View from the sidewalk.
The tile detailing in shower.
A Plumeria flower from the tree in the yard.
My Mom’s favorite: A picture of the sweet message my sister wrote in eyeliner on her bathroom mirror years ago. My Mom said she never had the heart to wash it off.
They now live on the fridge on my Mom’s new house.
My Mom said this is one of the most thoughtful gifts she has ever received. She was truly touched, and it reminded me that sometimes it really is the thought that counts. The gift itself is beautiful, but the gesture, the time it took to make the magnets, the attention to detail, and the peace that comes with knowing our home is now owned by good people who will enjoy it and build memories of their own, makes it even more special.
It can be easy to get caught up in our lives–especially during times of stress and change–but taking time to be kind and thoughtful is so important. This gift reminded me of that and inspired me to try to find ways to be more thoughtful on a regular basis.