A Little More than Ours, and Less than a House

My grandmother’s house is going to be demolished so that a new life would be built there.

When we were told that they will open the family house for a final visit before the actual destruction of the house, my heart pounded so fast and almost ripped my cage apart. I did not know how I was supposed to feel. I did not know what I was supposed to say. All I wanted to do was to go there and walk through the same door – one more time, one last time.

I thought that if I go inside, I will see my grandmother sitting to the left, where her favorite couch lies. I looked, I looked so closely, but she was not there. It was a ripped couch that looked nothing like hers. I kept walking hoping she would be in the kitchen, where she cooked us delicious meals and made us yummy juice. She was not there, either. I thought she would be in her room. But that deserted room with no furniture and big heaps of dust was not hers.

I thought I would hold my tears. Because I am an adult and there were children there, my nephews and younger cousins. I closed my eyes and tried to recall the details. I wanted to feel ‘whole’ again.

That house meant everything to me, my siblings and cousins. We used to meet there regularly. We used to be children, burden-free, thoughts-free, pain-free. We were the kids. We were those creatures who had nothing to think about.

That was a long time ago.

Now we are the adults. Now we have to bear the feeling of a final farewell.

My grandmother’s house was not just a house. It had big arms that embraced so many memories, laughs, cries, hellos and farewells. That house made us one big family that loved each other and stayed together.

My grandmother died around 6 years ago, but knowing that the house will go down too makes it feel like her death is happening all over again. This time we won’t have anything solid to remind us of who we were as children, of our grandmother.

When we all went to visit the house and say goodbye, I believe the house was saying goodbye to us as well.

It was the house where our mothers lived; the house where our mothers built their memories – it was the house where our memories began.

The house will be down soon. It will disappear. We, too, will die eventually. But it has been a wonderful ride.

Some years are left for us – I hope this ride will end well, too.

And maybe – maybe, the grandchildren of today will live after us to write about us and their memories with us as well.

We left the house, but the house will always be a part of who we are. It will always be where our hearts hide, and our souls seek refuge.

الله يرحمك يا ستّي، ويجمعنا فيكِ عن قريب


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