Nothing But a Memory

This afternoon I put on SiriusXM on the TV (DishNetwork) and, because I’ve been so into Eric Church recently, found country channel called The Highway.

An old Miranda Lambert song that I’d never heard before came on, “The House That Built Me.”

I stood there listening to the lyrics and remember thinking years ago that I wish I could go in the house I grew up in to see if it would help me remember my childhood. If I could remember the part of my life that is so cloudy and dark.

I can’t seem to remember much about that time of my life other than in snapshots and snippets. It’s not that had a horrible childhood or anything, but for whatever reason I can’t seem to recall much of it.

I can remember my address (1107 Terry Road) and the phone number (566-7431). But there aren’t a lot of memories of me actually in the place.

What where I grew up looks like now…

I often have to tell people I “don’t remember that” when they tell me about stories of us growing up. I can see literal pictures of me in the house but actual fluid memories are hard to come by.

It’s as if I’ve pulled a dark veil over that part of my life and my brain refuses to let me peek behind the curtain.

Maybe it’s because I’m alone and the song struck a nerve.

Maybe it’s because I’m heading down to Mississippi in a couple of days for reasons that aren’t so happy.

Maybe it’s because there’s a part of me that longs for those simple innocent days when life wasn’t so complicated.

Maybe it’s because “I got lost in this old world and forgot who I am.”

By the end of the song I was a mess, eyes flooding with water, throat tightening up and my brain racing. I guess that’s a sign of it being a well-written song.

Whoever wrote it must drink whiskey.

The House That Built Me

I know they say you can’t go home again
I just had to come back one last time
Ma’am I know you don’t know me from Adam
But these handprints on the front steps are mine

Up those stairs in that little back bedroom
Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar
I bet you didn’t know under that live oak
My favorite dog is buried in the yard

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself

If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

Mama cut out pictures of houses for years
From Better Homes and Gardens magazine
Plans were drawn and concrete poured
Nail by nail and board by board
Daddy gave life to mama’s dream

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself

If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

You leave home and you move on and you do the best you can
I got lost in this old world and forgot who I am

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing
Out here it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself

If I could walk around I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

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9 Responses to Nothing But a Memory

  1. GingerSnaap says:

    I don’t remember alot of stuff from childhood either, but mine wasn’t exactly happy, so it’s a self protection thing for me, I guess.

    Sorry about your step dad- cancer is a bitch on a broomstick. Very, very sorry!

    • JWo says:

      I think there is a lot of self-protection for me as well. There’s a lot of stuff that my sub-conscious doesn’t want to remember.

    • I am in the same boat, GingerSnaap. My sister, Crash, remembers so much more than me, but she also still kind of obsesses about the wrongs we experienced. I just want to move on.

  2. Whiskey is a great creativity booster!

  3. Dan says:

    566-7431; one of those phone numbers I’ll probably never forget either.

  4. shoes says:

    My mom still lives in the house I grew up in. My dad fought with the demons of Alzheimer’s in my childhood home and it was there where I slept the night after I watched my dad died. I have a strong love/hate emotional battle with visiting there. There are too many memories. My childhood was very good but watching my dad go while surrounded by those childhood memories was too hard.
    I am so sorry about your step dad. I wish you a soul calming visit to Mississippi.

  5. Anonymous says:

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