We recently learned that our ancestral home was going to be torn down and as I write this, what was once a home is now officially ruins. I needed to take time out before I wrote this down. Somehow, writing makes it raw and real…very much so that I find it difficult sometimes to pen my thoughts with having to face the truth that sends daggers through the heart.
The ancestral home was my late maternal grandfather’s house. If you’ve read my previous posts, you would already know that my grandpa was one of the most influential people I have had in my life. While it’s been over a decade since his passing, time still remains a friend to help adapt to his absence but it neither soothes nor does it delude me from the reality that he is no longer with us.
And I miss him more and more, especially in moments when I am lost and in moments when I have achieved success.
We called it ‘The Old Man’s home’. This home was a place where the entire family would gather and meet for special occasions and celebrations. It was a place that brought everyone ‘home’, no matter where we were in the world…and it was a home whose foundations have been struck deep into the earth for a century.
This was my grandfather’s home. This was the home where my mother was born and raised. This was the home where her siblings, too, were brought into this world and raised. This was also the home where their children were raised. Generation after generation, these four walls kept our bloodlines under one roof with moments passed underneath oil lamps and wax candles until it was time to renovate the house. The original structure was kept while all else was stripped and replaced with modern day materials and fixtures. Just as the home grew older, so did we.
It was many years ago; our ancestors lived in the land and one day, something happened to the land titles that each relative owned. The land titles had to be updated and filed once again. This, they did. Unfortunately, the land titles were not accurate. The area of ownership was incorrect in certain places which meant that the split of land, while the same in size, was slightly off in distance.
Even though this was known, my grandpa and our other relatives did not see it as a problem. Back then, changing and updating the land titles, plus measuring plots of land (surveying) cost a lot of money…and money that they didn’t have. And so it was, the wrong titles remained and this was because of the love and trust that the family had for each other. They didn’t think much of it.
Sadly, just as time gives us the power to adapt to change, it also gives room for us to forget who we are and where we came from.
Since the land titles were wrong, half of grandpa’s home sat on our relative’s property. And today, this man, while sharing the same bloodline, neither cared nor had any concern for what the four walls of memories stood for. An attempt was made to buy the property from him but this failed.
And there was no other choice.
The Old Man’s Home was given it’s final days until it was torn down.
And just like that, a century of history fell to dust.
The four walls that enclosed and kept memories still have disappeared. The rocking chair that once was set comfortably on the front porch is now gone. And so it has come to pass that what was once a home is now just another place out in the country where the trees sway in the cool breeze and the once vibrant river runs dry.
I lost my grandpa. My heart still bleeds.
And now, the home that was part of his legacy is gone.
The price we pay for stubborn pride and arrogance of one we called ‘our blood.’
A lost legacy of our future generations.