This may be the end of Fun a Day Reseda, but it’s not the end of my work on The Remainders. I’m working on the last chapter, and I have a lot of editing ahead of me. At least Fun a Day gave me the push to start writing a Reseda book, something I’ve been struggling to do for a while.
In the last week of this month, I also got some valuable lessons about why we need to stay connected to our childhood home.
Our daughter recently moved out. We’re happy that she made this big step forward in her life. But when she came to visit us for the first time since the change, she admitted she felt nostalgic. “Of course, I miss this place. It’s my childhood home.” I replied, “I still my miss my childhood home, and I’ve been gone for 30 years!”
A childhood home defines us. We build memories there. I can see my old house and remember how I decorated my room and how I hung my clothes in the closet. I can remember what time the Helms Bakery truck pulled up with its shelves of fresh donuts. I can recall who lived where and playing touch football with them out on the street. Even painful memories help define who we are. My childhood home is trying to climb the mulberry tree, listening to Dad and Mom shout at each other before he left us, working on a school project at our dining room table, and pulling up in my first car. More than that, my childhood home is the friendships I made and the connections that we kept, some of which have lasted nearly 50 years.
This week, I also got a sobering reminder of why those connections are important.
The husband of one of my friends at Reseda High School died. She let us know about his illness through social media. We expressed our support and offered hugs, thoughts, and prayers. Then last Monday, she gave us the heartbreaking news. Since then, she has received hundreds of messages of support. I know how lonely it feels when you lose a loved one. It creates a hole you feel nothing can fill. But knowing that you have love and support from your friends, even ones you haven’t seen in person since high school, can help you bear the suffering.
At the end of Fun a Day Reseda 2014, I wrote, “Reseda isn’t just an address, but a spirit, an identity, and a state of mind.” But as our childhood home, Reseda means much more. It’s a place we can go back to when we feel our lives have gone off-track. We can remember who we are, how we got here, and find what we need to move forward. When we suffer loss and heartbreak, our childhood home can offer comfort. We can find support and encouragement from childhood friends. We can remember a time when everything seemed possible — and know that it can be that way again.
We may leave our childhood home, but it never leaves us. Reseda is the house that built me.