Brookside was more than just a home to me; it was a place my kids and I went to connect with nature. My mom and stepfather bought this beautiful home back in 1998, and sold it this past month. As I was leaving for the last time, my mom and I both had tears in our eyes; the house had provided us with so many memories throughout the years.
The house is meant to be lived in year round. It has a wonderful sledding hill where hours were spent trying to see who could make it the farthest. I remember a weekend where it was just me and my mom. We got out the shovel, groomed the hill, and spent hours giggling going down the hill-just the two of us.
That house helped me rediscover the joy in winter. It was the place where the family would go to spend all day on the sledding hill, perfecting the form to hit the bumps perfectly. We’d laugh until we cried and the tears would crystalize to our face because it was so cold.
Something about them moving made me realize how the role between mother and daughter are changing. It also made me realize that I need to pretend to move at least once every five years so my children don’t have to help back up 20-plus years of “stuff.”
I’m not a child anymore. I mean, I know I’m not a child anymore, but my mom needs me to be more than her daughter now. We have adult conversations-what pieces of furniture have value, especially sentimental-and who should get them when the time comes to divide up among us siblings. How morbid is that? I know that those are important conversations, and I am thankful that we have the relationship where we can talk about important things.
This stage of my life, I struggle with being an active mom and being a daughter with parents who are in retirement age facing their own health issues. I am beyond fortunate that my mom is healthy. If my mom is anything like the rest of her family, I probably have another 40 years to argue with her to throw things away. Also, Duluth is SO far away from Arizona.
I still have those days where I just want my mom. Last year, I spent a week with her back at Brookside after I had been laid off from my job. It was her, that house and the time spent on the ski trails that helped me come to terms with starting a new chapter. I am sure I will never outgrow needing my mom.
As I was leaving Brookside for the last time, my car packed with family memories, I was grateful. Grateful that we were able to call that home for 18 years and that my children’s memories will include the time spent at GaGa’s and Grandpa’s house.
Thank you Brookside for being more than a house for our family, for being a place where we gathered to laugh, to cry and to be together. I know that your new family will find as much joy in you as we did.