Farewelling the Past


As I was cycling to work yesterday morning I rode past an older home that I’ve passed many times over the last few years. It had recently had a for sale sign in the front yard and eventually that sign had big sold sticker placed across it. Yesterday morning it had a wire fence across the width of the property. Sitting quietly behind the fence was a large excavator.

All was quiet at the house but I knew that the peacefulness wouldn’t last long. Sooner or later workers would arrive and that house would flattened.

Sure enough, on my way home the excavator was pushing rubble around. The house was demolished. No walls or structure, just splintered and broken building materials.

I wonder what stories those piles of bricks could tell.

I wonder how many families grew up there and where they are now. Were the rooms in those houses full of laughter? There must have been good and bad times, smiles and tears. Now there are just memories amongst the broken fragments of what had once been a home and I’m sure that within a few days even the remaining rubble will be gone.

I’m sure that over the coming months a brand new building will rise on that piece of land and that new house will bring good and bad times of its own but it’s good to reflect on what has been before we move forward towards what is still to come.

Around thirty four years ago I left the only home I’d ever known when my parents sold the house where I’d grown up.

I haven’t visited that old road for a while but last time I did it the old house was still there. It’s in a bad state of disrepair and it really should be demolished too. It’s an old asbestos house. No one’s ever going to renovate it so it’s really a matter of time until it’s gone. Although I haven’t set foot inside it for decades and the fact that it hasn’t been my home for most of my life, I’ll still be a little sad when it’s finally pulled down.

What sorts of stories could your home tell?

Would they be mostly happy stories? Can you remember the home where you grew up? Does it bring good or bad memories to mind?

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • My mom is still in the house we moved into when I was 3. My brother was born in that house. My dad passed away living there. Lots of memories!

  • Last year my Brother and I started to clean out our old home, which is now his house. It´s in a bad condition, too, and we have (on his wish) stopped decluttering.
    I left home at age 17, as early as I could, and Bro has decided to build a new house.

    Actually I had many bad memories, but when we worked on it together, we remembered the good times again, too.

    That house has seen WWII, many refugees found a place there and the house was full to the brim. Yes, who knows what stories it could tell?

    • It sounds like that home holds some amazing memories.

      I’m so glad that you were able to bring back some of the good memories amongst the bad memories.

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