In the very early 1980’s, my parents, together with my aunt and uncle, made the brave decision to leave Turkey and travel right across the world to an island on the other side. They knew very little about this place called Australia, except that it was a safe place for their children to grow. I imagine it was with heavy hearts that they left behind their extended family, their wealth, possessions, and homes.
I can still remember the first place we lived, all nine of us crammed into a three bedroom home in the suburbs of Melbourne. Shared beds. Mattresses on the floor. Little to no privacy. It must have been then that my parents built their House of Dreams – at least, in their minds. It would be big, bold and beautiful with lots of space for their friends to visit.
Twenty years on, their dreams were realised.
My father, my uncle, their friends from the community – all had re-established themselves in this new country, built businesses, networks, wealth, and even attained the double/triple leveled homes they’d always dreamed of.
So late last year, when I stumbled upon one of these homes being sold, it really affected me. At the auction, I looked around and saw old friends and relatives in the crowd, all hoping the owners got a good price, but saddened too. We all felt the enormity of what was happening.
The first House of Dreams… for sale.
I grew up playing inside these magnificent homes, feasting in them, celebrating, commiserating. I know just how every inch was created with love and hard work and sacrifice. So when the auctioneer yelled ‘SOLD’, there were gasps, tears, relief, and sorrow. We all felt it… a House of Dreams torn down (so to speak). Which one would be next?
It’s hard to convey how pivotal these homes were. Exactly what they meant to our community. They represented success, belonging, establishment after being so displaced. For me, this particular sale represented the shift of leadership from our parents generation, to ours.
It’s an absolutely enormous thought, and one that left me a tad anxious. Its like I blinked and found myself in the driver’s seat… which is crazy because at times, I still feel like a kid.
Tip o’ the Fez to you.