Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Farewell, Apartment 202

Sophia and I have finally moved everything out of my in-laws’ Los Angeles apartment, and Sophia closed the lease.   Fanya and Vartan lived in this one-bedroom apartment since 1984.   Sophia was very strong during the whole ordeal, but as we were about to leave the apartment for the last time, Sophia burst into tears because there was such finality to the moment.


From “Our House” by Crosby, Still, Nash and Young

Come to me now
And rest your head for just five minutes
Everything is good
Such a cozy room
The windows are illuminated
By the sunshine through them
Fiery gems for you
Only for you

Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy
‘Cause of you


  1. hugs to you & Sophia, Neil. This whole experience has been so heartbreaking. These pictures have me in tears, imagining the conversations and memories that were made within those walls. Just tears. I hope you’re both able to more forward and find a sense of peace after everything you’ve been through this year.

  2. I completely understand the sadness. And the song lyrics you chose to accompany the photos are perfect. Sending healing vibes to you and Sophia.

  3. Sorry for your sadness, Neil and Sophia. Glad that you can hopefully mourn and move on, this must have been such a heartbreaking task for both of you.

    Love that song, it’s the soundtrack of my childhood. My mom was a huge CSNY fan.

    :Hugs: to you both.

  4. Those photos convey so much! Give Sophia a big hug for me and then tell her to hug you for me, too. You both deserve a month in paradise.

  5. The pictures do say so much. I hope that with the closing of the lease both you and Sophia are able to find some closure and move on.

  6. so many words and moments and life and realness contained in that apartment. the photos are heartbreaking. i have photos from my grandparents house a bit like these and i am so thankful to just remember the little things like the shelf above the doorway in the kitchen and the way the light fell across the dining room floor.

    a perfect song.

    sending light to you both….

  7. Extremely sad to see it all bare like that. It must be a hugely difficult time for both of you.

  8. Much, much love to you and Sophia. I am so sad for your losses.

  9. Cleaning out, selling and then packing up the home my parents lived in for 42 years (not to mention the house I grew up in) was surreal at best. Most of the time, I just felt shell-shocked. So, I can only imagine how it felt for Sophia (and you too Neil).

    Many hugs and soft pink warm fuzzy thoughts being directed at you both. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  10. That song brings me to tears on the best of days but it’s just heart wrenching when put with your pictures. Hugs to you and Sophia.

  11. Such “finality” to an empty house.

  12. That’s so sad. It’s hard to say goodbye to a place that held so many memories.

  13. Big giant E-hugs to Sophia and you. This is tough tough stuff to deal with.

  14. The photos are really striking. I wonder, does dealing with all their stuff, and clearing it out make it any easier now? Thinking of you and Sophia. Bon courage.

  15. So sad. You two must be exhausted.

  16. Reading. Not much useful to say but, here.

  17. The emotions of this one tends to reach to the physical level. Thinking of you both.

  18. The finality of it all is quite depressing. Love to the both of you. I can’t imagine what it will be like to clean out my mother’s house when she’s gone other than good lord, a fork-lift will be needed.

    She is a major hoarder.

  19. Ah, home. So nice. Doesn’t have to be perfect. Just has to be a place where significant things happen to you, good and bad, things that make you who you are. I’m going to miss “Our House” someday as well.

    Great post.



  20. How very, very poignant a post, with its photos, Neil.

    “The vacant rooms that once held a life
    A life of togetherness, a life of mirth and hardship —
    Now stand alone. And empty.
    As does your heart.

    But your mind is full.

    Of memories.

    Let those memories carry you
    and fill your heart once again.

    Let those memories rush at you
    and brim over the edges of your heart,
    smoothing the roughness once more.

    Let calm and inner peace be yours yet again.”

    (that is my bracha for you, Sophia)


    Pearl ( Toronto, Canada)

  21. I love the look of the empty apartment – it’s not emptiness to me – it’s history and possibilities – imagining the people that lived there, what they were like, how long were they there, what did they see when they went out on the balcony and why is there no refrigerator? The possiblities become on who is going to live there next, will they like this space, how will they decorate it.

    The finality of never going back to where you grew up is perhaps the hardest part of closing up your parents home. May you and Sophia always think of the good memories, the laughs, the meals, and family.

  22. This is the closing of an old chapter and the opening of another!

    “Our House” is a very special song to me and my Husband. It was our first dance song at our wedding!

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