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Goodbye, House  

At first it didn’t really sink in that Monday night. 

It was the last meal, the last time Diana and I would be with my parents in the home I grew up in.  They’d lived there since the sixties.  That's a whole lot of memories.  I stole away for a moment and took one last walk around.

The Sumac bush was still there, all sprawled out by the front porch. There in the front yard, we kids played sixteen-inch softball, learned the basics of football, and tossed lawn Jarts.   Seemed as big as Wrigley Field back then.

Turning toward the east corner, I came to the tall skinny evergreen behind which I shared my first kiss.

The peonies on the side of the house were gone. I remember the summer Mom and I were weeding around them.  I seized the moment to fake a concern for snakes in the grass (hardly likely in northern Illinois).  Having ratcheted up Mom’s pulse rate, at an opportune moment, I tickled her feet with a long stick—a chuckle neither of us have gotten over.

I ambled through the backyard garden space where one summer I followed up on a resolution to grow a watermelon.  Faithfully, I watered the sprawling vine and harvested exactly one small excessively seedy watermelon.  Yet it was remarkably sweet.

Meandering around the property I came to the collapsible picnic table Dad made, still latched to the wall.  To this day, I’m not quite sure how he designed and built it.  How many summer suppers did we eat out there?  Eight of us. Together.  Meal after meal.

I’m happy that Mom and Dad have a new home.  But leaving the old place is sort of strange. Nostalgia aside, it’s a great reminder that ultimately, our home can never be here on earth. 

Jesus said to His followers—then and now—“I’m going to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, that you also may be where I am.”

That’s where our real home is, and always has been. With Jesus.  Forever.    

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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