Hope4Peyton header image

An Empty House

Once upon a time there was a house.

It wasn’t a big house, or a fancy house.

The family that loved it wasn’t big or fancy either.

The house watched as the family of three moved in and began to carefully make it their own.

Some paint here, a curtain there.

The family of three became a family of four.

It’s floors were stained, the walls written on, the windows smeared with miniature handprints and the house loved the family more.

The family of four became a family of five.

The hallways rang with voices, the bedrooms were steeped in giggles, the memories of a billion words echo through the air, the house sheltered its family.

The house weathered storms, yet it kept its family safe as they weathered storms of their own.

The darkest corners bore witness to secret tears, the doors shook with fiery anger, the roof covered hearts filled with fear and hope.

The house watched as the children grew, the years changing them all.

The house felt empty as the boxes filled.

A mother’s hand touched a spot where the wall had done it’s job and held a precious photo all those years.

Tiny feet made the soft “slap slap” on the tile that had led her many nights between a child’s bed and a parent’s.

Prints from youthful hands caught a father’s eye, the painted palms testifying to the lives that thrived in these rooms.

Spaces that stood bursting with toys and clothes and books and games looked strangely unfamiliar to the eyes of the children that had never seen them bare.

The family stood outside and looked at the house one last time. Babies were brought home here, first steps were taken here, celebrations and devestation happened here, wars were fought and won on this battleground, this house was a breeding ground for hopes and dreams, it was a castle and a boat and an island in the imaginations of the minds that grew there.

The family left.

The house was empty, but for the ghosts of the family it had loved so well.

31 Comments on “An Empty House”

  1. #1 Emily
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 5:48 am

    Wow, that was beautiful! You really captured the essence of how hard it is to move out of your home. I’ve only been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now and I really enjoy your writing:)

    Emilys last blog post..Bilingual Boys

  2. #2 kp
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 6:23 am

    The house isn’t the only one that’s gonna miss ya!

  3. #3 Bridget/queenofhaddock
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    I did not need to tear up the morning! So much for that…
    Beautiful post.

    Bridget/queenofhaddocks last blog post..Let’s do lunch. **Premium Picnik Giveaway**

  4. #4 MonsteRawr
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 8:42 am

    So lovely! Now it’s time to make your new house a home, and I’m sure you’re find much happiness in it.

    MonsteRawrs last blog post..Running Around in Tiny Circles

  5. #5 Brittany
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 8:46 am

    So beautiful, Anissa. I am tearing up, I can’t imagine pulling away from someplace that held you all for so long. But hey…ATL is WAY closer to me than FL is:)

    Brittanys last blog post..Extra postage.

  6. #6 sam {temptingmama}
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Beautiful Anissa! What a fabulous post.

    Thinking of you! *hugs*

    sam {temptingmama}s last blog post..Wanted for Hire: Pool Boy. Needed: Pool.

  7. #7 Lisa
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Way to paint an amazing picture with words. I will miss you very much. I am excited to hear what adventures you will enjoy in GA. Thank you for blessing me with the privilege of your friendship. Hugs to all.

  8. #8 Janet
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Dude. Don’t make me all cryish *sob*

    Also, did you post pix from Saturday night? (I was a-hurtin’ yesterday)

  9. #9 Jennifer
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    You are fan-tab-u-lous….I’ll miss you and the kids, but at least I’ll still have them through your blog and facebook.

    Good luck on the drive! Even though you are not going to be looking “hot” on the way!

  10. #10 Adventures In Babywearing
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Anissa, this is beautiful.


    Adventures In Babywearings last blog post..I Think I Made It Too Easy

  11. #11 Jackie
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Great post! You sure have a way of expressing your thoughts. I remember when you moved from here after 7th grade. I was really sad to see you go.

    On a funny side note, do you remember the earthquake? We thought your brother was running up the stairs, but then realized it couldn’t have been him when the bricks started falling in from the chimney. Then we waited outside until my dad came over. I drove by that house last week and thought of that time. Then I remembered all of the songs we used to listen to and try to figure out the words. Wouldn’t the internet have saved us tons of time back then? πŸ™‚

  12. #12 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:15 am


    Well, I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and leave a comment.

    It is so hard to move, especially a house that is all your children have ever known. But then again, I might have gotten teary passing the Target we went to ever week.


  13. #13 Jodee
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:22 am

    That was so well written and so sad… I know you will make wonderful new memories in your new house. But I know how hard it is to leave your old one.

    Jodees last blog post..Can I help you paint Daddy?

  14. #14 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:30 am

    You have NO idea how much I’m going to miss you…but seeing as how we are complete slackasses and never get together like we say we will…we could potentially still see each other JUST as much as we do now.

    I love you, my friend, come see me please

  15. #15 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    which makes me want to tear up and the vicious cycle continues!

  16. #16 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    That’s right!! Suck it up and start bringing down house values in a WHOLE new area, right?

  17. #17 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    It’s totally closer! Like 7 hours closer! BUT if……

    i’m just saying.

  18. #18 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Interested in flying down and hugging me tomorrow when we really DO that? And I am an ugly crier.

  19. #19 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I love you. That’s it, all I have to say.

  20. #20 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    My pictures that I thought looked GREAT after a couple of cocktails look a little blurry when sober. Go figure!! But I may have a couple that are decent….where do we upload? Flickr?

    Should I even TRY to upload the video to blogher? HA!

  21. #21 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Girl, you know we’ll talk every day….we won’t have the chance to miss each other.

    Until field trip days come. Then miss me fondly.

  22. #22 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    thanks, Steph!

    The funny thing is, I glanced at CommentLuv and thought it said “I think I AM too easy” and was WHOOOOAAAA, Steph!!


  23. #23 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Oh girl, remember the night we spent at Tanya’s house watching Grease 2 for the first time?

    I just watched that movie again and thought of all you.

    AND? I found my old yearbooks in the packing process..even some North Central and Fairbanks ones. BEWARE!

  24. #24 AnissaM
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    It’s harder than I thought, I brought my baby girls home here, you know? We’ll never have that memory in any house ever again.

    But 3 BATHROOMS! I can wipe some tears for THAT!

  25. #25 Adventures In Babywearing
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:48 am


  26. #26 Jodee
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    OHHH three bathrooms!! How nice!!! That will help… I know what you mean though the place you bring your babies home too will always be special!!!

    Jodees last blog post..Can I help you paint Daddy?

  27. #27 Dawn
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    You know I’ve always fancied moving house. When we bought this one it wasn’t meant to be the one we stayed in. Then the kids started to arrive so we extended the house and then we extended it again. It’s a nice house (3 bathrooms these days – but they take longer to clean than 1!!) but I always thought one day I’d be able to go out and choose my perfect family home. Whether that happens or not, the thought of having to pack up nearly 20 yrs worth of “stuff” just horrifies me. Staying put is definely the easy option!! And having read the obituary for your house it makes me realise how sad I would be to leave mine anyway – memories are priceless.

    Here’s hoping your new house brings you very little devastation (you’ve had enough of that) just lots more celebrations as the kids continue to grow and you all make lots more memories. Enjoy it – once you’ve unpacked all those boxes!

  28. #28 Natalie
    on Jun 8th, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    There is another house, one that you never lived in that is filled with love and laughter and but it is also filled with a family that will miss you tremendously

    Natalies last blog post..Carnival tomorrow!!

  29. #29 Musings of a Housewife
    on Jun 9th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    I love your writing. I hope your new house brings you even MORE joy and laughter. πŸ™‚

    Musings of a Housewifes last blog post..Votes, Schmotes

  30. #30 rachel-asouthernfairytale
    on Jun 10th, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Anissa, so beautiful. So perfectly written.
    You have such a gift with words, love.

  31. #31 Graco Heart to Heart Blog - Relocating with children, no problem
    on Jun 29th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    […] understand what was happening? Would she be upset about leaving her current preschool and friends? Everything she knew would soon be changing and I was wading into unknown waters on how to prepare her for […]