Tuesday, June 19th, 2018
This year, summer in New York City will start on June 21st, 2018 at approximately 6:07 AM. That will make June 20th the last day of spring. So, the last day of spring 2018 will be my last day living in my childhood house.
I never imagined this day would come. The transition of moving will be finally complete. I takes symbolism seriously. Timing like this only solidifies my attitude towards symbolism.
Woodhaven has been my home since I was 2-years-old. Like my girlfriend said, it is the only house I ever remembered living in. I do have many memories there.
I remember some of the good times, most of which were when I was a kid. My house was the place for family gatherings. My aunts, uncles, and cousins would all visit for New Year’s, Christmas, birthdays. The men were usually found in the basement where there used to be a small bar. It has been my bedroom for the past two or three years. The men would be there or out in the backyard, drinking and barbecuing. Out back, there used to be a dilapidated garage and a jungle of a garden. Now, it’s open space with a shed. The women would be inside cooking and talking. The kids would be running around or playing video games.
I remember switching bedrooms over the years. I’ve had the basement, the “small” room, the basement again, the master bedroom, the “hot and cold” room, and finally, the basement again when I started paying rent with my girlfriend. I remember inviting my childhood friends over. I remember having a fight with one of them after tugging on his shirt. I remember the horse-playing and laughing with the other. Both are long gone.
I remember some of the fights between my family. My brother and I grew distant during our high school years. Our relationship hasn’t fully been repaired. All the yelling between my father and my grandmother, who started developing dementia in that house and had to return to the Philippines. My father yelling. Me yelling. It was the house where my dad’s condition worsened, where he spent the past few years, grinding it out, needing to go to dialysis three times a week.
I remember Max, our dog who was the same age as me growing up. We grew up together until he died of cancer in the stairs next to the back door when he was 13-years-old. I was 13. I remember his pal, Buck, who was lonely for a few years after until he too died. Buck is buried under concrete in the backyard, which was a garden before. He lays with my cat, Tommy, who died in my dad’s arms in what is currently my brother’s room (the “small” room). Bernie and Marsha, who died in recent years, are buried in the front garden. I hope the new owners will allow them to rest in peace there for when I visit.
It was a house I started losing interest in. The neighborhood seemed to change for the worse. The parking spaces ran out. My dad became territorial. We fought with neighbors. I once played loud music on consecutive nights in my bedroom (the “hot and cold” room) during my “dark stage”. A few days later, I realized my window was half-shattered. A large piece of rock laying on top of my backyard awning. I won’t forget coming out of my house one day to see the passenger side of my car smashed in with a brick. All the silly renovations my dad did, all of which were done haphazardly. The cheap and scratched up floors. The cheap contractors who did a poor job with the roof and the siding. The lost motivation to fully take care of the house.
The lengthy basement “renovation” of 2017 that made my girlfriend’s life a living hell. That included sanding the ugly popcorn walls my dad did when I was younger. The sanding took a month. You could sometimes find evidence of the dust in some places. On some of the clothes. Then, the tearing up of the old floors, the pouring of concrete, and the installation of new ceramic tiles. That took a month with the help of a good friend. This was me and my girlfriend’s first home together.
Some of the neighbors moved away. The neighbors who stayed irked my dad with their pride or ego. The Chilean neighbor next door was a good guy though. He would sometimes barbecue in his backyard and share hot dogs and burgers. He once gave me Proactiv when I was a pimpled teenager. At the time, I took it the wrong way. His wife would always ring our doorbell at night to remind us to not leave our cat, Toby, outside because it was too cold. Toby has many friends. Now, he has to find new ones.
So, do I.
The last day of spring 2018 brings a close to a transition phase that started in December. Six months later, we are finally moving. I want to thank my girlfriend for jump starting the process. We wouldn’t have moved without her help. My mother, my father, and my brother for helping themselves. After all, this is for them. My mother and father for placing trust in me to find our new home. I do believe that our lives will be for the better because of the new house and new neighborhood. I want to thank my uncle George, uncle Robert, my cousin, George, my nephew, Aaron, and my neighbors and friends, Freddy, Robert, and Danilo, for assisting us with our move. I also want to thank my friend, Miguel, who I haven’t spoken to in a while, and my girlfriend’s two sisters for assisting me and my girlfriend in renovating the basement. I do believe that the renovated basement was the icing on the cake for potential buyers. Finally, I want to thank our agent, Shellena, for guiding us through the whole process.
Let the first day of summer 2018 be the start of a new life.