“I believe we have all experienced Full Circle Moments.

They deepen our lives and, once shared, enrich the lives of others.

They are at once personal and universal.”

~ Jane Genende, Author of  THE LOST TRIBE OF THE ANDES

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A Full Circle Moment

“A Full Circle Moment”  By Jane Genende

I was six years old when my dad took me for my first visit to our new family home. We had been living in a small apartment on East 97th street in New York City. While my two older brothers shared the second bedroom, the living room served as my bedroom. I was very envious of their bedroom and was always trying to devise ways to spend time there. When my younger brother was born, he slept in a crib in my parents’ bedroom. Our family had definitely outgrown our apartment.

Visiting our new home was a special experience for my dad and me. We walked from room to room exploring. My dad seemed proud and happy. He took measurements using his wooden, metal, yellow ruler: folding it in on itself like an accordion. He explained all the various rooms on the first floor. Afterwards, we went upstairs to the bedrooms. He showed me the room designated to be mine. He explained how we might arrange my new furniture. This was a lot to take in! I remember how big the house seemed, especially coming from an apartment.

We were all excited, anticipating starting a new chapter in our lives. Imagine a house with lots of rooms, a basement, and back yard. It will be a great place for games of hide and seek: was the report I gave to my brothers and other family members when they asked my opinion.

We moved in, and our lives moved forward. My memory of that day faded, and was stored away, in the far recesses of my mind.

Until, fast forward 46 years later...

At the age of 83, Dad finally succumbed to a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He passed away in his sleep, in his own bed, in this very same house.

Mom decided it was time to sell the house and move on to something more manageable. In this house, she had raised four children and cared for a dying husband.

When the time came to sell the house and move out, the process seemed to take on a life of its own. Mom found a buyer and a new place almost too quickly. To help accomplish the huge task of emptying the house, we enlisted the aid of packers, movers, handy men, and a dumpster.

This essay appeared in the September 2006  issue of “Inside Chappaqua” Magazine.

For more information about this magazine visit www.insidechappaqua.com

We sifted through 46 years worth of memories. This process was most difficult for Mom as each item had a history and story to go with it. We had to decide what to donate, give to a family member, sell, pack or discard. We decided to keep all of dad’s handcrafted pieces of furniture and distribute them amongst the family. Two chairs he made are now a perfect addition to my office. Dismantling the house was almost as wrenching as actually burying my father. Our long history with the house inextricably, linked to my father, was ending.

Finally, the house was empty and ready for the sale. My older brother and I had the task of inspecting the place before the closing. Together, we walked through the empty house, saying our goodbyes.

As I walked into my old room, I suddenly froze: I began to see myself as a six-year-old with my father, standing in the room. I was in a time warp with both my selves past and present. I had been experiencing many emotions and recalling old memories since my father’s death but I had not recalled the memory of that day since it happened. The image and memory of us together, on that day, being able to visualize him in my mind as a young, healthy person, was a gift.

In that moment, my life had come full circle. The very first time I saw our home, it was empty and full of promise for a new life. The very last time I saw our family home, it was again empty and full of promise for a new beginning. I was able to say good-bye to my dad and our house in a very special way.

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