Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

What we leave behind


Braun and Badger 052I’m getting ready for a road trip, my favorite kind of travel; a little random, sometimes spontaneous, always interesting.  Freeing.  But as I’m packing the last bits of things into the suitcase I look around.  Is the house clean?  Is the bed made.  Are things put away?

Do you do that?  Check out the house before you walk out the door?  I do.  Every single time.  Whether I’m headed for work, a week long trip, or just running to the grocery store.  Because you never know if you’re coming back.  You never know if someone else will be walking into your home after you’re gone and you wouldn’t want the house to be a mess.

I’ve been this way for ten years.  Ever since the summer of 2004 when my mom went off to church and didn’t come home, and then dad went to the airport for a holiday visit and didn’t come home either.  Neither of them knew they were leaving home for the last time.  I often picture mom picking up her purse, climbing into the car and driving off to town.  I picture dad tossing his luggage in the trunk and heading out into the dark morning.  I imagine they checked a few things, mom making sure she had her reading glasses because she played the organ at church, dad making sure the thermostat was turned down because he’d be away a week.

Neither of them could possibly imagine that their children would walk back into that house in tears and without them.  But I can image it.  I know what it’s like to walk into a place that was once someone’s home and is now just the keeper of the memories and the stuff belonging to people we loved.  So before I head off on the next adventure I take a quick look around.

Just in case.

Because you never know.


Braun and Badger 019

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

7 thoughts on “What we leave behind

  1. I do always check the house before I leave and make sure everything is in place- just for that reason- suppose I don’t come back and people come in. I was so sad to read that this was the case for you with your parents- how terrible it must have been. Have a safe and joyful trip.


  2. having battled through cancer and all the other health issues I have, I think I have spent the last 30 years living like this – ‘you just never know if today will be you last day’ so I live each day if it is because why put off doing something until tomorrow when you can do it today. It doesn’t have to be monumental things either….for me it is just getting out and enjoying where I live everyday, visiting a place that is outside the normal 20 miles radius most live in.


  3. Very touching! Hmm.. For the last time, how would anyone predict? But, experience does teach us to do certain things. Life is strange sometimes.


  4. Geez, I never thought about it like that. But I do clean before going on a trip, because my mom always said, “You don’t want to come home to a dirty house.”

    Have a safe trip!


  5. You’re right, you never know, but I have never thought of that. I try to neaten up because I don’t like to come back to messy.


  6. ‘You never know.’ How true those words are, Dawn. What a shock it must have been to you and your siblings when your parents didn’t return. I can see how you continue to miss them every day.


  7. I always check, too. Because, as you wrote, you never know.


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