Saying Goodbye to my Childhood Home

My parents are selling our childhood home. 

Yep. My family has lived in this house for over 34 years. I was born there. We’ve celebrated every Christmas and Thanksgiving around that table. The memories are countless, and the history there, priceless. 

And today, – right now –  I’m on a plane to go say goodbye to the house. 

To be honest, I have been a wreck of emotions since I found out last week. Sadness, nostalgia, a little disappointment. 

The thing I was struggling with most was that I felt like I would no longer have a place to call home.

But the thing that I’ve come to realize, is that it’s not the house that makes the home, but rather, the people in it. Home is wherever they are. 

And to be honest, I’m a bit ashamed of my initial, knee jerk reaction to learning the news.  I was looking from a selfish place: a self-concerned, how-does-this-effect-me-mindset, when the fact is, that’s not my place. 

This is going to be a wonderful new adventure for my parents. They’re moving to a beautiful house right down the street from my brother and his family, into a charming neighborhood with sidewalks and destinations to walk and be active. 

I’m thrilled for them, and this will be an exciting new chapter for our entire family – myself included. 

And to be honest, though right now, in my mind, I’m only remembering the good times, the fact is, for the seasons after my anorexia and ulcerative colitis flares, I was begging my parents to move. The pain associated with specific places in the house and the horrifically dark memories attached to it, I wanted to get as far away from as possible.

Ulcerative Colitis flare: 2010

I mean, to this day, when I visit I sleep in my brother’s old room, because I feel spiritually attacked when I’m in my old bedroom: the place where my eating disorder took hold of my heart, body, mind and soul those 13 years ago. 

So, for the amount of joy, there is also a lot of pain written in those walls. I’m just in a place now where, I’ve put those dark memories to bed, and am living in the light, and only remembering as such. 

This coming week, I’m going to have to go through all of my old things – everything from saved baby clothes, to scrapbooks, to boxes and boxes of memorabilia from all the shows I was in growing up, to things from the seasons of life where I was battling anorexia and ulcerative colitis. 

Me and my papa 🙂

It’s going to be an emotional, emotional task, and I humbly ask for your prayers. 

What I’ve been hit with the most, as I’ve come to peace with this news, is gratitude

Because the truth is, despite the seasons of pain, I am deeply blessed to have an incredibly loving and supportive family. And to have come from such a stable home. Those are life changing blessings that sadly not everyone has access to. 

So yes, I can feel sad for a minute to say goodbye to the house that provided that beautiful childhood, but the fact of the matter is that, I should instead, be brimming with thankfulness for the life the people in it provided for me. 

That is something that I cannot and will not ever take for granted. 

So it’s now time to put my tray table up, and make the last drive home from the airport. 

I love you, friends. Have a beautiful Monday. 

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5



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139 responses to “Saying Goodbye to my Childhood Home”

  1. Yes ma’am, you will have a variety of emotions. The best part is that you get to keep the memories and the house will just transform to a property. However, I will and do keep you in my daily thoughts and prayers. Hugs and Love!

    • You’re so right – the memories will stay forever! Thank you for your prayers and great perspective! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you stephanie for your prayers!! I agree – God is continually working and has perfect timing!! Great insight!! Hugs and love xox

  2. My mom moved from the boyhood house in NY after Dad died in 2015 and I last saw the house, which was unlived in for a year, a few months before it was sold. It was run down and dirty and I was… Sad… an emotion I don’t feel often.

    I was raised in that house in Long Island, NY and I’ve since lived in Newport Beach California, Jakarta and Surabaya Indonesia, Bangkok Thailand, Beijing and Shanghai China, and Cebu Philippines and the only place I wake from a dream thinking I’m home is the boyhood home in New York.

    Home is where the family is, obviously, but the house was where the childhood and the innocence was.

    That’s the part we probably mourn.

    • Oh Marc, I’m sorry that you had to say goodbye to your boyhood house like that. Wow, you’ve lived all around the world! That’s really something. I agree – home is family. Glad you stopped by. Thanks for sharing your story. Hugs and love xox

  3. You’re beautiful. Don’t ever doubt. Despite the difficulties and hard-to-face realities, the truth is, no matter where we are, we are beautiful; we are made in the Father’s image. Prayers that you can accept the now and not let it influence your feelings of home or worth! Hope your folks can relax in a comfy-cozy new place!

    • Oh gosh, thank you so much Connie. You’re right about that – we are made in His image / and isn’t that a beautiful thing! Thank you for the prayers! Hugs and love xox

    • Hey Matt! Thank you friend. You’re right – there are so many beautiful memories waiting to be had! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  4. I can identify in a couple ways. I discovered that my childhood home burned down several years ago. There’s just an empty lot that looks much to small to have held our 5-bedroom bungalow! I still see my bedroom at the front of the house looking over the roof. My mom sold it after my dad died – we were WEEKS clearing it out. We even found papers our family members had to sign denouncing the Kaiser when they immigrated from Germany!

    Then there’s the house we lost when we were foreclosed after my second layoff. It’s where we raised our girls and our family matured. When I finally got the job that moved us to Memphis, I felt completely violated. First, my house was taken from me. Then I couldn’t even stay in my hometown. I was completely adrift.

    But we finally could buy a house again a few years ago, and it’s starting to feel like home. Memphis and the community where we live gas come to feel like home, and Julie and I plan to retire here. Unless, of course, God has other plans!

    I tell you all this to say that I truly understand your feelings! I see nothing there to apologize for! The house might be your parents, but your feelings are yours! The house is arguably partly yours for the emotional payments you made into it.

    Their new house will become your home base for family and all those warm holidays that will continue. It will happen. Remember how I told you over and over that love will indeed come? TOLD YOU SO! Well, now I encourage you to believe that the house will become “home” for you again. Offered with love and hugs…

    • Hi Jeff! Oh no! I’m so sorry it burned down, that’s so sad. Oh wow, that’s a lot of history. And gosh, I can only imagine the range of emotions you must have had. But I’m so glad you’ve found that great community in Memphis and that’s is feeling like home again. Absolutely – there are many new memories to be had at the new house, and memories from a whole, healthy me! Which is exciting too. And you’re right – you DID tell me so!!! Haha 🙂 you speak truth!! Thank you Jeff for this awesome perspective. It blessed me tonight! Hugs to you and your girls!! Xox

    • You’re right about that – we do get attached. And great advice – photos galore! Thanks friend! Hugs and love xox

  5. I will be praying for you, my beautiful friend. It is huge and emotional and that is valid. God will be with you through it. Love you as always. XO😃♥️

  6. I needed to read this as we too are considering selling my childhood home. Thank you for sharing and I was going through many of those same points.

    • Thank you so much Susan! I’m glad this came at a good time for you. I’ll be prayin for you as you navigate this season! Hugs and love xox

    • It really can. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words. Big big hugs to you xox

  7. Having moved five times through my married years, I have learned that the memories in each home have been special – the ones where the kids took their first steps, the ones where we celebrated major events BUT you are so wise (per usual), they are just memories that will move with you. The true HOME is where the family is living. The stuff is just secondary. And you will have many NEW memories in your parents’ home that will also be special to you……and them. Good luck and I truly understand. It’ll be okay, and their new home will be blessed.

    • Oh wow! Thank you for sharing that. You’re right – the memories will move with us!! Great point. I’m excited for the new memories to come! Thank you again! Hugs and love xox

  8. It’s strange the things and places that we hold onto. I have lived in a few houses, no big moves, no constant moving, just a few. And out of those (including the one my wife and I bought), only one felt like a “home”. My wife understands. There are things that pull us toward these structures, memories (good and bad), events (holidays and such), the “needs” they fulfill, or whatever, those “pulls” are real.
    That being said, I love the house that my wife and I have made into a home. It has its quirks and problems, but they are ours. Our children have been able to spend most of their lives in it. build memories in it. And when all is said and done, My wife and I will probably die in it. But, it’s just a house. It’s just a thing. It won’t go with me when I die. But the memories will. And the memories of the time my family spent in it will. That is good.
    I’m glad that you have an attachment to that home, it means that what happened there with you and your family was real, worthwhile. I am also glad that you can let go, that this is another growing step for you. I hate change, but I know it is good for us. If we are not changing we are not growing, we are not becoming closer to God. Change is good. Have fun on this new adventure that life has offered you.

    • Thanks for sharing that, William. You’re right – the pulls are definitely real! And yes! the memories will! so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  9. Change comes even when we regret the tumult and the uncomfortableness that comes with it. Although I resisted change, it came. It is hard to let go of the memories, good, bad, and indifferent. In my area, we don’t have a Spring season but instead have Break up, that is characterized by melting snow that reveals the garbage underneath, mud, and mud puddles. But soon we experience Summer, with warm temperatures, flowers, flowing rivers, and the beauty of a new season. My prayers are with you, Caralyn, as you go through this transition, a time of metamorphosis from the old caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly, and a completely mew world. Hugs and love, seasoned with much prayer!🦋💕

    • You’re right about that! Each season brings with it a new beauty! what a beautiful allegory! thank you for your prayers and encouraging words through this transition! means so much! Hugs and love xox

  10. Praying for you and your family during this time of transition Caralyn♥️ hugs&love xox Haggai 2:9 “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.”

    • You’re right about that – family is home. always has been, always will be. thanks Ian for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  11. You your Caralynness are blessed to have a supportive family. My first home was demolished many years ago, but my neighborhood is still there. It was built on the battlefield of the Battle of Bladensburg, the last battle fought before the British burned Washington. So at least you still have you childhood memories.

    • You’re right about that, Chris. moving on is always hard, but beautiful new memories await! thank you for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

    • Yes! excited for those new adventures! thank you for your kind words. Hugs and love xox

  12. All good things must come to an end. I remember my parents bought a house during my senior year in high school. They closed escrow while I was away in college. Thus when I came back for Christmas break, I was saying goodbye to the old place. They were more or less moved in when I got back from spring break. That was a weird transition but you adjust and move on to new memories. Now I have only vague memories of the old place. That’s life.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, friend. You’re right – new memories ahead. that’s something to look forward to! Hugs and love xox

  13. Will be praying for you, Caralyn. This is indeed a huge, emotional task! Maybe it’ll help if you can first move some boxes and items to a more open area of your house, like the dining room or living room and start sorting through things there. At least, I know if it was me, I would feel extra emotional and trapped in my old bedroom and would want to be somewhere more open where I could hear other people talking and just feel like I wasn’t so enclosed with old memories. Anyway, I’m just trying to say that I’ll be rooting for you and praying for you this whole week! So much love.💕

    • thank you so much Hannah for your kind words! you’re right – big task indeed! and WOW! what an awesome idea to do it in the open! i will definitely do that! as they say, location, location location! haha 🙂 i appreciate your prayers! blessings to you this morning! Hugs and love xox

  14. Definitely quite the task ahead of you! I can only imagine what you’re feeling after that house being “in the family” for so long and so many memories have been lived there. But you’re right, the house doesn’t make the home. It’s the people. Lifted you up in prayer!

    • yes definitely! thank you so much for your kind words. yes – it’s the people! thank you for your prayers!!! 🙂 means the world! Hugs and love xox

  15. Blessings and Congratulations. My parents made a move without telling me or my sister, so no goodbyes were possible. When I was bemoaning the loss of a piece of bedroom furniture – the bureau drawer that I inexpertly carved Jesus’s name when He visited me at 4 years old was “gotten rid of it”, a close friend said: “Its only a material thing.” We are spirit living inside a body and an ego – a good reminder by a best friend. After all “You Can’t Take it With You” – Frank Capra’s film winner of 2 Oscars Best Picture and Best Director in 1939 – worth a gander. Be well and happy

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story, gosh i’m sorry that you went through that! it’s hard to say goodbye to things with such special memories. i’ll definitely check out that film! thanks for the recco! Hugs and love xox

  16. My Aged Ps announced they’re moving this week. 51 years in the same house!!! We’ve been travelling for 6 years so have stuff in the attic, she’d, garage and my bedroom … yikes … a lot to clear. But the memories stay.

    • oh my goodness! 51 years! that’s a long time! will be praying for you as you make this transition! sending big hugs xox

  17. Gotcha in my prayers, Caralyn. I know it is a difficult time… but count your blessings. You still have both your parents – and they will make a new home for you to com and visit them where the painful memories will not exist – and only the sweet memories of what you create from this time forward will be there. God is good. He’s gotcha covered. Praise God! Enjoy the time with your folks.

    • Hi Jan! oh gosh, thank you for your prayer – you’re so right- i have so much to be grateful for. GOd is most certainly good!! thank you for your kind words! Hugs and love xox

  18. Yeah, igoodbyes are difficult to say.. You’re emotive and it rallies up all rational thinking. Good thing is, they are moving closer to family. You might be thinking “oh, I am looking a part of my childhood, will I ever feel the same?” ,but you have to remember ” home is where the heart is.. having your family around you is HOME”

    • goodbyes are most certainly difficult. thank you for your kind words! yes! family is truly home! Hugs and love xox

    • you’re right – it’s always hard to say goodbye, but yes! home is where the heart is! Hugs and love xox

  19. I will be praying for you during this process. I still visit with the owners of the home where I grew up and have been able to visit even though it is many hours away. May you find some things to keep that bring encouragement to you throughout the years as a memorial to what you’ve overcome.

  20. I love everything about your attitude and realizations about this. I have yet to experience this, my parents have lived in the same house since 1974, but I know I will someday. It’s all part of getting older.

    The closest I’ve come to this was seven years ago, when I walked past where my freshman dorm used to be and saw that it had been torn down and a new dorm was being built in its place. That experience was timely, because at the time I was in the middle of trying to track down a pen pal I had during the time I lived in that building, and seeing that building no longer there was when it hit me that even if I was able to track her down, even if she did reply, we were not going to have the same kind of friendship at ages 37 and 35 as what we had at 18 and 16. And that whole experience later led to me writing a novel about it.

    • Thank you Greg for your kind words of encouragement. you’re right – it’s part of life. oh wow, i appreciate you sharing that. yeah memories are powerful things! wow – a novel, that’s amazing. Hugs and love xox

  21. Love the picture with your dad, very cute. You are right, the house is not the home but the people. I pray for the strength of the Lord to be with you in this time as you say goodbye to old memories and hello to new memories and adventures and fun. May the Lord guide your path always and never let the joy and laughter you share with your family never run dry. In the name is Jesus. Amen 👏🏾💜🏺🦅

    • thank you so much Simon! i appreciate your words of encouragement! yes! trust Him! Hugs and love xox

  22. What a beautiful house. Moving home is a major move for your parents to make, sure they have there reasons. I wish them all the best.

    Words to help you… well, I believe that memories are within our hearts they are not stored in places. New place will create new memories. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. you’re right – memories are not stored in places! i absolutely love that! here’s to new memories! Hugs and love xox

  23. I keep thinking of the old cliche saying ‘home is where the heart is’…and as cheesy as that sounds it really is so true!! When we truly put it into perspective no house here will ever compare to our eternal home in Heaven anyway which makes the idea of selling, moving, etc a bit more subtle.

    You make good points in your post as usual sweet lady!❤️

    • Hi Ali! Oh that is so so true – home is where our loved ones are! 🙂 and AMEN! our eternal home is going to be amazing…that is what we can look forward to! thank you for this powerful perspective! I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday! Hugs and love xox

  24. Our house of 20+ years goes on the market today, Caralyn, So I had to smile reading your post. Note “house” goes on the market; the “home” is going with us. Very strange feeling we will be leaving it but a new house being built awaits our “home.” Ted

    • oh my gosh! wow, my prayers are with you and your family during this emotional transition. you’re right, Ted. A strange feeling indeed. but here’s to new memories! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  25. Find comfort in knowing that your real home is in heaven, a place beyond description in its beauty and warmth. This “home” we call earth and every abode we’ve occupied in it is temporary. What awaits us is glorious and everlasting.

    • Thank you Rollie. You’re right and that’s so important to remember. We were made for heaven and only then will we truly be home. Hugs and love xox

  26. Miss Caralyn, what a beautiful post. It occurs to me that we are a delightfully messy lot, aren’t we. Somewhat full of contradiction and longing. I’m reminded that in the Old Testament people built altars to God in the places where Sacred Encounters took place. In a journal I have drawings from a trip to the Grand Canyon, and through the mountains in AZ that captured my heart so deeply. When I visit family I often drive by the place where spend most of my growing up years to remember playing kickball, jumping rope, singing Karen Carpenter songs on the swings. Remembering where I come from is important in the knowing where I am right now.
    It’s okay to grieve the loss of the physical place, just know when you visit your family you can drive by, pray for the new family that gets to live there, to raise their family in this space. You can ask our Lord to protect this family spiritually.
    May this moment continue the beautiful work our Lord has begun in you.


    • Hi Teri! Thank you so much for this powerful response! I absolutely love the idea of praying for the new family who will live here! They actually have an identical family structure with three little kids who go to the same elementary school that I did! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  27. That’s a tough one. It is not particularly selfish to react when you find out your childhood home is going away! Or rather you will be leaving it for the last time. My folks moved during my junior year of college, and when I went back to their new house, it wasn’t home . . . until Mother made biscuits and gravy with eggs and bacon for Sunday morning breakfast! 😋
    Any change is challenging when it first comes, especially if it hits us in the face like a splash of cold water. Your CONTINUED reaction is what matters and shows where our hearts are. Some never get over “loss” and live with regrets and needless pain the rest of their lives from the moment of “loss,” whether that is a loved one’s death or change of houses.
    But our faith in Jesus calls us to eventually leave ALL of this world behind, and what a “glorious unfolding” that will be.
    So these losses just get us ready for the final goodbye to an old universe that Father will fold up like a blanket, as He ushers us into a New Jerusalem better than anything we can even imagine here on earth.
    love and prayers,

    • Thank you CA for sharing your story. Awww, biscuits and gravy definitely have magical powers! 🙂 hahha but seriously you’re so right – we’re being prepared for a new heaven and earth! Hugs and love xox

  28. Prayers to all of you. What is around the corner we never know, but God walks with us and every new chapter He is right there. We take our memories with us and new memories await! God Bless.

    • Thank you so much for your prayers. You’re right, God is always walking with us! glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

    • You’re right about that, Jeff. Thank you for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  29. I relate. My childhood home was actually given away. It’s a bit of a long story.. but sometimes I drive by to see it. The guy hasn’t taken care of it… it’s a sad situation,

    • Oh wow – I’m sorry about that. That sounds really difficult. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. Sending hugs. xoxo

  30. Get ready for your new adventure and chapter in your life to begin… as well as your family. Of course, your memories will always be there if you ever want a recap of any exciting you’d like to discuss or talk about. Congrats moving into your new family home. 🙂

    • awwww, this is so beautiful. thank you so much for the wonderful encouragement! You’re right – the memories will always be there! so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  31. Prayers for you! A few years ago, my mom moved from a perfectly idyllic house in a 55 and over community into an apartment – also in a 55+ community. We were dumbfounded. No one understood it. We thought she was crazy and the younger ones in our family were sad and a little angry, to be honest. The memories in that house, while they did not span 30+ years like your childhood home, were still strong and meaningful. Where on earth would we have Thanksgiving now?? But, she was immediately “at home” in her new home. Active, making friends – all the things you hope for your retired parents. Recently, she moved….again…to another 55+ apartment community (just 2 miles down the road) and I realize (as I have always realized) that mom is pretty keen on shiny objects. Ultimately it is, like you said, the people that make the home and as long as she is happy and we can still spend time with her, it doesn’t matter where she decides her four walls need to be. Good luck with going through and organizing the memories – I know God will be with you as you sort out what you “need” to keep in your life!

    • Thank you Lindsey for this wonderful encouragement! oh wow, thank you for sharing that. you’re right – it’s hard to make that adjustment, but i’m so glad that you’ve felt home in these new places! you’re right – the PEOPLE are home! Hugs and love xox

  32. What a beautiful home! It’s definitely sad to say goodbye because it feels you’re saying goodbye to everything that came with the house including all the memories. I moved out of my childhood home that I’ve lived in for 16 years and it was really hard so I can’t imagine how much harder this is for you💗

    • thank you so much Jaimie! you’re right, goodbyes are hard, but I am definitely excited for a new hello too 🙂 thank you for sharing that! Hugs and love xox

  33. How exciting for your parents! But I can relate to what you are feeling. I only knew one house my entire childhood (we moved there when I was 2). So when my parents down-sized and moved it was hard to say goodbye to that house. One thing that helped me was I left a note in one of the kitchen drawers for the future residents. It made for good closure for me. Enjoy going through the memorabilia as you help them pack. Blessings!

    • thank you Lisa! Yes, goodbyes are always hard. Aw, i love that idea about the note. I am definitely going to do that! Hugs and love xox

  34. You are blessed to have these memories. My folks moved around constantly. In 12 years of school I went to 10 different school. I was in 3 different schools in sixth grade. I will pray for you as you say goodbye.

    • thank you so much friend 🙂 oh wow, it sounds like you definitely became good at making friends and adapting to new environments. thanks for sharing that. and thank you for your prayers. Hugs and love xox

  35. Aw, I’ve been just where you are and I know just how you feel. I stopped right now and prayed for you. I hope you’re having a sweet time this week, hard though it will be. And you’re completely right – home is where your people…your family…is. Blessings and peace be yours, Caralyn.

    • Thank you Patty for your prayers, I truly appreciate that! yes – a sweet time indeed. And yes! home is family 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  36. I know how hard that can be! I watched my girls have the same reaction when we left our home in Illinois to move to Colorado.. but the heart work that comes with it is good too. New things for both your parents and you in life to come – and the beauty and provision of God in all of it. Hope you have a blessed time as that chapter of your life is taking a new turn!

  37. I felt the same way about daddy’s place even though I never grew up in that home. It was, however on land that had been in our family for generations. Grandpa’s old log cabin, where he was born had sat on that land. Thankfully a friend of mine, took that apart, numbering the pieces then restored it on her property, but none the less, it was our history. Yet, there was a lot of bitterness and battles over it, so we let it go and never went back. So, you’ll have those moments both good and painful, but these too will pass. You have a good attitude about it.

    • thank you for sharing your story and your heart on this, Jo. Gosh – what beautiful history. You’re right – they will pass, and those memories will stay in my heart forever 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  38. True…Our home has been standing for at least 40 years and some times it feels quite jealous actually when we ( actually I ) see other houses but then all the memories anf good times just hit and results a smile on the face…
    A home is a place very hard to say good bye too….
    Well, loved the content!

  39. 6 years ago my Cuppycake and I down-sized & moved, as your own parents are doing, and in similar fashion our adult children took the news very hard! Our eldest son even called the realtor to inquire how to “stop the sale from happening.” 😂 Our daughter dreamed of walking down the staircase on her wedding day before being ushered into a car for her drive to Church and they all desired to bring our (future) grandchild to hike on our 17 acre trails surrounding our home. But, as you said so perfectly….it’s the people who make the “home” so cherish-able & eventually they came to understand living in the home without them was far too “sad” for us to do any longer. The house was missing its own “heartbeat” without an active family dwelling there any longer and we were becoming over-whelmed by all the house continued to require. Fast-forward 6 years now and we have been building just as wonderful memories in our new “living space” and I know you & your own family shall do the same! ❤️

    • Oh my goodness, i definitely can relate to your oldest son! There was absolutely a moment when I wondered if I could do the same! hahah Thank you for sharing that. You’re right – it’s the people. That’s what i’ve come to peace with. I’m so glad you all have made your new space home – that is so beautiful. and it gives me great hope! so thank you!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

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