You look around the house that was so familiar, maybe it was the house where you grew up or the house that you have always found yourself coming home to when life outside becomes too much to bear. You look around the house and you remember it all at once. How your mother excitedly brings the food in the kitchen, and you, your siblings and your father, along with your pets all gather around the kitchen.
As if that was the only battle that you’ll ever be willing to go through with them.
You look around and you remember, how in that one corner of your parents’ room, you found your mother cried at least once or twice. You remember how you ran to her and comforted her, hoping that your every touch and every ‘I love you’ would fix it for her.
You look around and you remember, you remember it all.
You remember how your family sang along with you when you pick up your old rusty guitar, you remember how they make fun of you lovingly when you first had a lover. You remember everything.
And then it will hit you. It will hit you like a truck that will surely leave you either broken or dead.
And you know that from that point forward, that’s all you have left. Memories. Stories. And nothing more.
Because this time you look search the house and you don’t see your mother walking around, you don’t see her make up lying everywhere. You try to call out on her and no one answers you anymore. And that’s when you know.
Your family has fallen apart.
Your family will never be the same again. You don’t just go into the next room to greet your mother ‘good morning’ because she’s gone. You have to get your phone and make a call if you have to ask what she’s doing. And this time you have to ask what she had to eat because you don’t do that together anymore. You don’t sit next to each other where you can just steal beans and meat off her plate when she’s busy talking. You can’t just knock on her room at 2 in the morning and tell her you had a nightmare. You can’t just come home late at night and be scared of the nagging and the interrogating, because now there’s just you and your memories.
There’s just you and your lonely, quiet house.
Some people might tell you, that it can’t be that bad. That a broken family means two Christmases, two birthdays, two Thanksgivings, two of everything. You would celebrate everything twice to be with each of your parents on your special days. But even that does not make it better. Because you can’t get married twice. You can’t graduate in college twice. You can’t give birth to your firstborn twice.
And sometimes, in this world full of people wanting second chances, you only ever want just one. Just one quiet Christmas, one birthday cake, one Sunday lunch. Because once is special. Once is enough, and once is actually all you need, all you want.
And you sit down and close your eyes, and you once again remember everything. You rethink of the past until the reality starts to seem distant, starts to seem wrong. That the reality of your family’s break up may just be a bad dream that you could wake up from. And it’s okay to feel that way. It’s okay to feel lost. Because when a family falls apart, a part of ourselves falls down along with it.
But when it happens, think of all the arguments that your parents had saved themselves from. Think of all the yelling, the crying, the cursing. Think of all the what ifs and the maybes they had for years that maybe this time they can answer, think of all the opportunities, the chances, the journey that is ahead of them. And think of all these rooms that had now been emptied, ready for you to fill in with good and new memories, new goals, new dreams, new hope, new stories.
Think of all the chances you have for yourself to bring out the best in you in this tough state. Take it all in little by little, feel your pain. And tomorrow you can rebuild again, maybe not your family, not your home, but you can rebuild yourself and get ready for your bigger world.