Grandpa Ed and Grandma Donnie, my grandparents on my dad's side, passed away a few years ago. These two people were a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Their house is blocks from where I grew up. It's a habit to glance down that hedged driveway each time I drive by.
I knew that this would have to happen at some point...that house, which looks like just a house to anyone else but holds years of sweet memories for me and others, has the new addition of a For Sale sign out front. While I know that it has to be this way, my heart literally aches at the thought of someone we don't know "stealing" our memories. Yep, that's what the 8 year old in me is screaming while I stomp my feet and cross my arms. It doesn't seem right.
I took the girls down to the house the day it went on the market for one last walk-through. Oh how I didn't realize how much that would hurt. The second I walked in, that special "house scent" (you know what I'm talking about - every house has it) that has belonged there since I can remember hit my heart like a ton of bricks. There have been a handful of times in my life so far when it has truly felt like my heart was breaking; add this time to the short list. I may have been feeling these past few years like even though they were gone, at least we had those physical memories holding strong right down the street, and now I am realizing that those are going to be gone, too.
Life goes on, we move on, and we hold onto memories because sometimes that's all you've got. And, through all of the "it's not fair" feelings, I feel extremely lucky to have the memories that I do. I wouldn't trade them for anything.
I remember baby chicks hatching under the deck right here:
There was a spot in this hedge where you could run right through it if you hit it just right...I think you had to be a cousin to know exactly where it was.
It's overgrown now, but years ago getting down to the creek to catch water skippers was easy:
Can you hear Gowey kids screaming with delight as they rushed through this wooden gate to the freedom of the field next door?
You know those movies where someone goes into an old house and they can "see" their memories in the scene? I sat on this fireplace hearth and I swear that happened. I could feel the hot fire behind me and hear aunts and uncles and cousins' laughter and voices. Really, I could.
Jeff asked me a while ago if I know who looks at this blog. I have no idea, and I really don't know if more than about 3 people do. I enjoy doing it, and like knowing that memories and milestones will be caught in time. So, I suppose you could say that I keep it up for myself and my family, and if anyone out there does read it, I hope that it's for enjoyment. :-)