THE DEATH OF MY CHILDHOOD


“The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.” (H. G. Wells). With my father’s death so came the death of my childhood.  Although I had lost my father years before his actual death, the end of my childhood came as a complete shock.  I have grieved more over this loss than the loss of my father who was, in reality, already emotionally dead to me 10 or so years before he died physically.  My father, in all honesty,  was gone to me as soon as he married his second wife.  With this new wife came a new family.  The old family (my sisters and our children) were no longer a big part of his life.  We were sometimes included as afterthoughts more out of politeness than a real effort at relationship.  Maybe we reminded him of his old life, a life in which he was not as happy.  (My mother and father did not have the best of marriages).  My father was ecstatic with his new family and I was glad for him.  I was still, thankfully,  able to visit my childhood home from time to time although it was extremely uncomfortable and awkward.  I felt like an unwanted visitor, a stranger, and an intruder.  Little by little evidence of my father’s first life with his first family was erased.  My childhood home was remodeled, the family pictures replaced, the trees cut, and half of the land was sold off.  Still, I could see traces of my childhood home and it gave me some comfort.  I could see glimpses of my “daddy” in this man who was married to someone who was not my mother–this lady who had no clue how close I had been with my father before she came along.  When my father died, so did my access to my childhood home. With the loss of my childhood home comes the true end of my childhood.  I can never go back.  I’ll never be able to walk where I walked as a child on the land of my grandparents.  The land that has been in our family since 1825.  It’s been somewhat devastating.  At 55 however, it’s time I grew up and let it go.  What choice do I have?  How or when did you realize your childhood was over?  Please share in the comments if you will.

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