We have a home! Our very own home! Una casa! Une maison! Ein haus! Nyumbani! (And no, I did not just Google how to say “a home” in several languages….).

My sister Alex and her husband Je are being gracious, generous, precious, and heavenly enough to buy my mother a home. They certainly do not have to, but they want to make sure my mother is set for life and has one less thing to worry about (like being shot on Sylvian Street, sheesh). And let’s face it, my mother deserves it. She is the nicest person I have ever known, just a cute little chubby cherub (don’t tell her I said that!). Also, she has made sure that our needs come first, and Alex is thanking her for that. For that, I thank you, my sister. You are giving Ma a gift of immeasurable value.

Since I am a mooch and tagalong, I am going with my mother! Woo-hoo, tap dance! I will get to enjoy a magenta-colored room for the few weeks that I have left in the States. I have so many ideas for the house that I feel like my brain is going to explode! There are so many things to do and such little time and we don’t get the keys until this weekend so I’ve been jonesin’ hardcore. We have rampantly been throwing away things, and I have been cleaning like a maniac on crack. It’s like an episode of “Hoarders,” I swear. I want to speed up the process as much as I can, and I can’t wait to kick this popsicle stand.

Two days ago, though, I was on my knees cleaning the kitchen floor and I suddenly felt like I was erasing a part of us. Cause really, isn’t that what it is? We are erasing that we have lived here for fifteen years. Of course, I’m an emotional wreck, so I got a little weepy, kneeling on the floor with a Brillo pad in my gloved hand and a bucket of soapy water. Isn’t it weird, how you can invade a space and then not even leave a trace behind, kind of like a ghost?

My most important years have been lived here. For as small as it is, it has been a good, cozy home. It has been stable, and overall happy. I have laughed so very hard, fought, danced (mostly alone in my room), screamed at the sight of bats, and stumbled drunk in this apartment. My nephew was raised here. It is weird, picturing ourselves in a different community and environment. It is sad, leaving behind the friendships and memories we have made here. It is kind of scary, too. It has been a humble beginning (a beginning which we didn’t know was a beginning, because we never knew there’d be more and grander, know what I mean?).

Who will live here after us, and how will they live? Will they be happy? Will they know us, remember us? Will they take care of it like we have? Will they appreciate the hard work and creativity with which my father’s hands have remodeled the place?

But ehhhhh, I’ll eventually get over it. I am so very happy. My mother, my sweet mother, is walking on a cloud all her own. We have a home in which to make new memories and laugh and burn the frijoles in! Our very own home! Una casa! Une maison! Ein haus! Nyumbani!

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