When Home Hurts


Home had always been home. I was fortunate enough to grow up in the same house all my childhood. My grandparents’ house. When I went away to college visits back home felt like home. Familiar home cooked foods from my grandmother. My childhood room. Shopping trips with my grandmother. Watching TV with my grandfather. 

Things first changed after the surgery that blinded my grandmother and would eventually cause her death eight years later. Things shifted. The roles reversed. I was now taking care of my grandparents when I visited. There were no trips out with my grandmother. I still watched TV with my grandpa. 

It hurt that things weren’t the same. Visits became full of sadness and exhaustion as I slept on the old couch, my grandmother’s hospital bed now occupying my childhood room. I didn’t leave refreshed, I left feeling like I needed a break. Feeling a stinging brand of nostalgia. 

And now things have changed again. My grandmother is gone. 

Visiting my childhood home for the first time since my grandmother passed has actually not been as hard for me as I thought it would. Because my grandma was sick for so long the change isn’t as drastic as it could have been. But things are still different. She’s missing. 

Her hospital bed is gone. I’m back to sleeping in my childhood bed in my childhood room when I visit. My grandfather and I are still watching bull riding and his DVR’d soap operas. 

One thing I’ve learned is that there will always be a new normal. 

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