Most people see a house. A wooden house with large windows on the coast of Lake Norman, brilliantly designed, complete with a tennis court, and an extravagant dock, standing out next to the stereotypical mansions nearby. But where most people see a house, I see my home. Though not my home in the conventional sense, this house has been the most constant place throughout my life. Designed by my grandfather, this house has been the location of my most treasured memories. It is the only place on earth where I feel perfectly content.
What began as an empty lot became my grandfather’s masterpiece. Designed and built for his family, he carefully crafted this unique house that became a home away from home. It is our getaway, where my relatives truly become my family. Since the day I was born, there was no question as to where my family would be on summer holidays. My cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents, all of us together, simply enjoying each other’s company. We have never needed anything else. Countless boat rides, family dinners and late night conversations at this house that my grandfather built for us created priceless memories I will never forget.
But, at the end of this summer, the lake house became something much more than just a family oasis. With my grandfather’s sudden passing, it is the only place where I can truly see him anymore. Though no longer physically with us, I can always feel his presence when I am at that house. He was an amazing role model and from him I learned the benefits of hard work and what it means to be part of a family. He always put his family first and achieved everything through determination and perseverance. His life was full of passion and love and we all miss him greatly. He left a hole in our family, but he also left a legacy that will never be forgotten.
People may inhabit many houses throughout their lives, but each house has a different meaning. It is not the bricks or the mortar or the structure of the house that is important, but rather the experiences that make it memorable. My grandfather’s memory will forever live on in the lake house he created and transformed into a home.