Moving houses unearths a trove of memories

I helped my friend pack up his house because he was moving to a new condo. It was an interesting journey into the psychology of moving.


He’s moving because he is divorcing. His children haven’t lived in that house for a couple years, but they did stay there on his custody weekends.

He’s a dear friend. He means a lot to me. I’ve known him for 30 years.

In my darkest hour, he was one of the few people completely there for me, and I will forever be loyal to him for that. Whatever that man needs, I will do my best to give him.

After my darkest hour abated, his peaked. What he needed from me was space to process his big life changes, so we didn’t talk for a few months while he withdrew from the world.


He said he thought about the house, about how his children were born in that house (well, came home from the hospital to that house), how his family lived many good years there, and how his marriage lived – then died – in that house. Selling the house because it was too big for a single man was really a sell out of the dreams of his past: having a happy family unit, a stable and content existence.

The divorce is contentious. The children suffer in the middle. He eats bitterness all the time.

His children took what they wanted from the house, but left behind many relics of their early childhood. Those are what we went through together, and none of it, he wanted to discard.

It took a long time. Everything has a story behind it.

Those precious memories now live at my house in a storage space. At least I can provide a home for part of his heart.

But just as much as this is a journey through the past and a goodbye to some dreams, it’s literally a move to a new future and a hello to new dreams. He’s strong, he’s loved, he’ll be OK. He just needs time to get there.

He can always visit his old life. He just has to come over to my house to do so.

Author(s) on this Post

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

Diane Ako has 274 posts and counting. See all posts by Diane Ako

8 thoughts on “Moving houses unearths a trove of memories

  • January 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    We don’t lose the memories when we part with the mementos.
    Once the healing kicks in, we remember the happier times.
    You’re a good person to be a blessing to your friend in his time of need.
    Happy New Year to you and your ohana.

    • January 2, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      Thank you – and you’re right. Happy New Year to you too!

  • January 3, 2017 at 6:31 am

    0h y0u are such a true friend Diane. [sry, s0me 0f my keys d0n’t w0rk, I0I!]

    • January 3, 2017 at 6:40 am

      You know what? He was the real friend. He was one of three people who offered to stay at my house and help me care for my child at a time when I needed it. He called me every day to check that I was good. I didn’t even have to ask. I get that not everyone can or wants to, but in what was a highly stressful time, I felt mostly alone in managing my life.

      I got a lot of positive strokes on social media. Big deal. It’s nice… to an extremely limited extent. Of the people who actually know me in real life, who really came over to help me, or offered it an meant it?

      • January 3, 2017 at 7:22 am

        That’s a mark of a real friend. Someone who sees you struggle and just steps up and says “how can I help” and then actually steps in and helps until you’re over the hump.

  • January 3, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Glad he is your friend and that you are his.

  • January 4, 2017 at 9:26 am

    He was one of the very few true friends that saw you through your worsest of worse times and you being there for him and even holding on to his treasures for him shows what real good friends you two are, to another. This is a very touching and moving story you just shared Diane. This has embarrassingly opened my eyes to what kind of friend I’ve been to some of my real true friends (albeit, they have also played a major role as to why we now don’t ever talk to or even acknowledge one another). I need to make things right with them. Thanks again for the life lesson learned here, and Happy New Year!!

    • January 5, 2017 at 11:46 am

      Oh my gosh – what a heartfelt and honest response! I wasn’t expecting that. I just felt moved by his, well, moving and wanted to share it. But thank you for telling me this. If it could actually help you in some way, that’s so nice!


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