What once was a home

It is a place that is faintly familiar when I visit now when I pull into the driveway. When walking up to this structure and through the front door I start to be flooded with memories of a past life, things I've forgotten about until standing here now. Sweetly haunted with the smells of what was once cooked in the kitchen (the recipes they taught me to cook as a child), sitting at the dinner table together, the sounds of daily life (my mother singing her favorite songs on the records she owned), sunlight on peeking in through the windows on a summer Sunday morning as she dances, the love and laughter of the family that once lived here. Time is starting to erase that this was once a home, a place of comfort and security. In its current state of condemnation I still love it and hope someday it is rebuilt so another family can build a life of memories here.

When I started to think of photographing this project it was a way to process the life change of my parents retiring, leaving this house we called home for over twenty years of my life, but it wasn't my home any longer. Two years later my mother suffered a stroke with many complications afterwards. She spent her remaining time at their house in Wisconsin, not wanting to stay in the hospital any longer, passing away on June 11, 2015. My father and I moved forward, him staying in the house in Wisconsin, I relocated to Minneapolis, MN to be closer to him, leaving Chicago my home to start anew and to not have the constant reminder of the last couple of years of my mothers life.

Today as I write this, March 6, 2022, she would have been 70 years old. My father passed away almost two weeks ago on February 2, 2022, his lucky number was 22. It has been very hard to process them both being gone, an only child now an orphan. I always thought of orphans as young children who needed to have their daily needs taken care of, they are not.

To remember my mother the past seven years I would listen to some of her favorite songs, imagining her singing them, but not all, some songs were still too painful. Today I listened to The Who for the first time since she left. It's been a flood of good memories and I waited too long to do so, but I think somehow this was supposed to be the time. After my father passed away unexpectedly I hoped they were together again and that I will see them again someday. We were never a very religious or spiritual family, but at this time it is all I have. Listening to this band one of their favorite songs "Join Together With The Band" played and it gave me an overwhelming sense of peace, the lyrics, the memories, knowing I can listen to this song anytime and know they are still with me.