4 October 2015
I am 9 years old. My family is packed into a yellow station wagon and we are driving away from our house in Redondo Beach towards a new life in Houston.
My best friend, Erin, is running after the car.
This is the scene that plays over and over in my head as I drive away from my town home where I have sheltered for the last 7 ½ years. I’m only going four blocks away. Far less than that first move. My beautiful new home that, as of yet, brings me no joy or peace beyond not being embarrassed to show it to my mother. Feelings of guilt over my extreme ingratitude wash over me. This does not drown out the overwhelming sorrow of leaving my beautiful little home.
It was so perfect. It was a heavenly mansion compared to my previous home even though it was smaller and had no land. It didn’t leak. It wasn’t broken down. Everything, almost, worked the way it was supposed to. It was in good repair. It was safe. There was no shame. I fit in the neighborhood. I wasn’t part of the odd family that no one seemed to like. I wasn’t ignored. I was next door to my best friend. It was cute. Everything was just the way I liked. The white siding and the red brick reminded me so much of my parents’ first home in Houston where my sister now lives. It was mine. My safety, my sanity, my well-being were not at risk. I was surrounded by love, companionship and friendship.
It was just too small for a woman with three children who married a man with four children.
Much like the one I was given when my family left Redondo Beach and moved to Houston, this reason was not sufficient to comfort a nine year old girl leaving her best friend.
My beautiful townhouse. You served me and sheltered me well. Thank you. An even bigger thank you goes to my parents Kenn and Kaye Fawn who made it possible for me to get into it. Thank you Daddy and Mommy.