We made a trip back to western Kentucky recently to finish cleaning out the house following my mother's recent death.
The sense of melancholy was strong as I walked the neighborhood streets for the last time, slept in the house one final time, decided on items to be discarded, and wondered when the next time might be to visit my old hometown.
I only lived in that specific house for my last two years of high school and summers during college. But during the next forty years, as my husband and I moved halfway across the country three times and lived in nine different houses, the knowledge that my parents remained in the same house provided stability, a foundation I could always count on.
I still have a sister and an aunt who live in that town, so I know I'll be back but the visits will be less often and less like going "home."
During my pondering, I turned on the radio and smiled when I heard the old song that was playing--"Ain't Gonna Need This House No Longer."
Mother and Daddy no longer need that house, and neither does anyone else in the family.
And we know that someday we will join them once again in our heavenly home. That confidence and hope eases the sadness that comes with saying "good-bye" to that earthly home.