As her parents grew old and frail, Ariana made the trip more often, sometimes alone. On every trip, she called from Columbus to tell her parents she was halfway home.
On a clear autumn morning, Ariana began her final trip home. This time, only her sister, Lisa, would be there to greet her. When she stopped for the night in Columbus, she texted Lisa to say she was halfway home.
Ariana arrived home to a bittersweet reunion with Lisa. They began the dreaded task of going through their parents’ possessions so they could sell the house. Lisa, who had a big house and children of her own, was eager to finish. After all, they couldn’t very well afford to continue to maintain a house where no one lived. For Ariana, things were different. Once they sold the house, there would be no home to visit.
The sisters went through their parents’ belongings, handling each item with love. These weren’t mere objects, after all; they were links in the chain that formed their parents’ lifetime. Ariana and Lisa reminisced about events they remembered featuring many of the items. When they looked at objects that brought back no memories, they tried to imagine the moments their parents shared in the house before they were born.
Once everything in the home had been donated, recycled, shipped to a relative, or set aside for one of the sisters, they closed the door to their childhood home forever. Ariana drove Lisa to the airport, and hugged her tightly at the curbside check-in. Then she began the two-day drive back to the house she shared with Jesse.
“You’re halfway home,” Jesse said when Ariana called him from Columbus later that night. “I can’t wait to see you tomorrow!”
It was then that Ariana realized she still had a home to return to after all. And she was halfway there.