It was a beautiful, sunny day, although a bit chilly. I asked my dad if he wanted to walk outside and he was ready and willing. We started down the street, but the cool wind was too much for him. Instead of going right back in, I asked if he wanted to go for a car ride instead. He walked right to the car and got in. I went and got Mom and we went for a drive. We drove through the north part of their neighborhood and slowly went up and down the beautiful streets and admired all the old homes. Unlike some Chicago streets lined up with bungalows, these streets had homes unique to their neighbors’. Some were set back on the lot with a big front yard. Some were closer to the street with large yards in back. Some homes were made of beautiful stone, where others were made of brick or stucco. Most of the houses were well-kept, but as we drove along, I noticed a few houses tucked in between eye-catching homes that were worn down and neglected. It made me sad. It was obvious at one time, these houses were beautiful and had a history. It made me wonder how these houses got so bad. When and why did these beautiful homes start to deteriorate?
As I pulled up to my parents’ house, I looked at it a little differently. Their house is a beautiful old home set closer to the sidewalk. It has a unique pattern of bricks to it. The bricks weren’t laid evenly one on top of the other. They were methodically laid in all different angles. They are all different sizes. Some stick out and some are flat. I’ve never seen another house with brick like this.
Their house is well kept and beautifully decorated. It’s gone through many stages of decor from the 70’s to now. The walls of this house hugged our family. The walls watched us grow up. They heard arguments and laughter- a lot of laughter. They heard music-songs we sang and songs we loved to listen to on the stereo. The walls watched our parents teach us how to be good people through their actions. The walls saw family traditions-Christmas Eve gatherings and Christmas morning gift exchanges to St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebrations and Easter Sunday brunches. The walls saw family routines –Sunday brunch after church, then roast beef dinner, family meals every night around the dining room table, and then homework on the same table after everything was cleared. The walls heard fun celebrations as we got older and brought new family members in. This house holds so many memories from the past 44 years.
A good family was raised in his house by good people. The family has grown. We return with our own children who love this house. They love the family traditions that my parents continue to have. Fifteen grandchildren come to this house knowing that when they are here, it is special. It brings them comfort. It brings them home.