A home is a place of gentleness, ease, and warmth.
For 27 years, I came & went.
Though I don’t recall the first time we met,
I do remember you always being my final destination.
A place with food, shelter, and comfort.
In my heart, you will always be my first.
A wooden home with coral stone & wooden floors.
A symbol of modesty, wisdom, happiness and immortality.
It’s hard to know exactly where it all started.
There’s a lot of history behind this secret cottage.
I’ll always remember the neighborhood where I grew up.
A special place I had no choice but to give up.
Buena Vista East.
That was the place to be seen.
People came & went.
Everything began to change, one house at a time.
For a long time, I spent my days out in the sun.
Playing football in the street, cause it was so much fun.
Feels like forever ago.
& one by one everyone chose to go.
Many people had come in & out of this neighborhood.
Out of this house.
Once they were gone, the house was forgotten.
Everyone had gotten exactly what they wanted.
Yet there she was, aging, watching, smiling,
Crackling, standing, barely managing.
In recent years, many of the people that had once grown up there had come to visit.
This house had always been so welcoming. Taking away all of their negativity.
Come on in, take off your coat.
Sit on the couch, get comfortable.
Would you like a glass of water?
A cozy girl, indeed.
In the olden days, before central A/C, the temperatures varied.
In the summers, the windows would be opened, fans on high.
Up in the ceiling & mounted on the windows.
Our white fabric curtains danced around with the wind.
The coolness from the outside breeze did not hesitate to come in.
When it rained, there was no need for fans.
All the windows were opened, & we could feel the house breathing.
I loved the freshness of the outside wind.
My mom always had incense or candles lit.
The wind would blow from one side to the other,
Stirring up the scent of whatever was burning.
The house even sang when the wind blew hard enough.
The chimes outside had such a beautiful melody.
The sound of rain made rainy days feel so lazy.
We wanted to do nothing but play under the covers & snuggle on the couch.
In the fall & in the spring, the temperatures were perfect.
It was never too hot & never too cold. Just perfect.
My favorite part of all days was when the sun came in
through the windows during the sunrise & sunsets.
It was always so warm, & bright.
No need for lights.
And may I say, I couldn’t help but notice that it made her features glow.
She looked so beautiful, like a true cottage.
The winters were a little harsher.
The floors were cold, and the air stiff & dry.
It was hard for us to get out of bed in the mornings.
It was so warm under the covers.
I loved the weekends on those super cold days though.
Pancakes, eggs, sausage, & hot chocolate.
I will always remember those days.
Those beautiful days in that house. The house on 43rd.
This house was the epiphany of memory lane.
I’ve grown up in this house since I was two.
I knew nothing else before her.
The house where it all began.
To the house on 43rd…
You have watched me grow from a baby to a young woman.
You have nurtured my curiosity by allowing me to write on your walls.
You have watched me do dumb things like kiss the mirrors & jump off the roof.
Which, by the way, thank you. I didn’t die.
You must be wondering what I was doing up in the roof all this time.
I went up there because you brought me closer to the stars.
You brought life to everything around me.
I experienced magic with you.
I never felt so magical.
You even allowed me to have all my cats right there.
& just like you did for me, you also provided them shelter.
To all of my pets. & in return, once they had passed, I gave them back to the Earth.
Yup, right there in your yard,
Front, back & side.
Though it may seem like a pet cemetery, only you & I will truly know what our intentions were. A secret between you & I.
Hurricanes came tumbling down from above, and you held your ground.
To protect me. To protect us. All of us. All this time.
You fought against termites, rats, & roaches.
Together we did.
You heard all of my secrets. All of my mistakes.
You’ve been there for all of my achievements.
You carried my sadness for all these years.
& you kept all of my secrets, all this time.
Yes, I must admit. You have secrets of your own.
That I know.
At times you were very scary, & I was afraid of you.
I was afraid of your closets.
I was afraid of the noises you made.
I was afraid of the things I experienced & saw within your walls.
You brought my imagination to life,
& I believe that’s why I was so afraid.
But now that I am older, now that I am wiser, I realize that I wasn’t afraid of you.
I cherished you. I loved you. I adored you.
I still do.
& deep down, I know I always will.
You have always been so motherly.
You always brought comfort to my uneasiness.
Oh dear Casita, I’ve always seen you as a mother.
& a part of me never understood why.
At first, I thought it was because of my mother’s energy.
But as time went by, I started to realize that you had your own energy.
You had been calling out to me all this time.
You always loved kids. Laughter. Playing.
You are a palace.
You are a graveyard.
You are a portal of time.
& in just mere seven years,
We will be celebrating your hundredth birthday.
Though I would have wished for us to be together for your birthday,
You have officially been repurchased.
You have been sold to a whole new family that will cherish you, love you, & take care of you the same way that we did. Or better.
Hopefully better, because you deserve it.
I cried many nights knowing I may never see you again.
But you reminded me that it was time for me to leave the nest.
I had been holding on for so long, that I had forgotten that I was no longer a child.
I wasn’t stuck in the past, but I felt like I couldn’t move on without you.
Somehow, you continued to push me.
You continued to support me, through all my wishes.
You’ve watched me dance since I was two.
You’ve watched me graduate grade after grade.
You even helped me select my future husband.
You know how long I’ve wished to find someone to marry me.
You allowed my dreams to come true.
I met him, & you saw the whole thing.
You even granted one of my most special wishes. I wanted so dearly to experience my pregnancy with you.
You allowed me to raise my baby right within your walls. You were even there when I picked my forever best friend.
Though you didn’t get to see her off, or meet her baby, I want you to know that our wish also came true.
My best friend & I had babies at the same time.
I know you remember us wishing that into existence.
I just wanted you to know that it came true.
You have always been so magical.
I don’t think anyone would ever understand how powerful,
beautiful, and wonderful you are.
In the eyes of others, you are just a house.
But to me, you are so much more.
You will always have my heart.
& I can only hope you will continue to be loved & adored by this new family.
I just don’t know what else to say.
I love you, & wish you the very best.
But please don’t forget me.
Because I will never forget you.
Dear Casita, it has been established.
You have been named after our very first cat.
Though no one else would know why,
I am happy to know that only those who truly belonged will know.
& they know who they are.
From the moment we had our trio-circle it had been established.
You were granted the name Luna.
So whenever I look at the moon,
I want you to know that I will always think of you.
You will always be my home.
Thank you for everything.