A Touch Goodbye

It was time to leave the only home I could remember.  Mom was yelling from the garage to “Come on, or we’re leaving without you!” as she hauled one last thing out to the pickup truck.  I stood in the middle of the room that had listened to my hopes, sheltered me from my nightmares, looked down on me as I grew from the four-year-old who got the room when her baby brother came along to the spindly-legged, frizzy-haired 12-year-old who realized her connection to this room only when she was told she had to leave it.  Just saying “goodbye, I’ll miss you” wasn’t enough.  Even if it meant I got in trouble for making us late, I had to take the time to press my palm against each wall of that room, creating a connection that only touch can provide.  Sharing my warmth with the drywall and white paint and 2’x4’s that created the space in which I’d grown up.  It’s that touch I remember even today, 42 years later.  It was touch that sealed it in my memory and made one moment last.