The photo showed up in a Facebook post, like a squirrel unexpectedly popping out of a tree. It was a simple picture of a beautiful living room with a newly decorated Christmas tree. But it was more than that for me.
I once resided in that room, in that home, in that space. It is where my daughter and I lived when we first moved to Michigan.
A friend now lives in there and showers it with love. But in that simple photo, I could still see my family having Thanksgiving dinners and Golden Globe parties and fireworks-watching from the living room window.
I could still see my daughter chasing our dog, Lucy, through the large living room, dining room and kitchen, part of a home that still stands nearly 100 years after it was built.
I relived my daughter and me arriving home to a foyer of fluff that we followed to the living room where our dog, Lucy, who had obviously gotten bored, had chewed out the side of the sectional sofa.
I miss that room and that home like I do every home we’ve shared that has beautiful memories of every day moments, from baking cookies to doing homework.
I miss that space. I miss my daughter being 11 years old in it.
I miss watching her play with Lucy in the vacant lot that used to be next door, knowing she was safe and the doorman could get to her sooner than I could.
I miss her hamster experiment. She bred three generations of pets to study what traits were passed down from one to another to another. I told her that, in her room, they were hamsters. In my room, they were mice – and in danger.
I miss so much about that space. But I am so happy that my friend and the enormous love she shares with everyone every day are there now.
And from now on, my friend’s memories and mine will dance through the rooms and chase each other all around, mingling with memories from other residents through the years, decades of love getting to know each other.
Until the next memories come.