There is something about my great-grandmothers house. As I sit stretched out on the floor, I listen to wind blowing on the chimes outside, and it continues to the leaves creating a symphony of serenity. My eyes drift across the house, stopping here and there thinking about the memories. I see a picture of my great-grandfather. My mind wonders.
Pap had two loves: my great-grandmother and his yard. His yard was something to marvel at. It graced the pages of newspapers: the yard of the month. When I was a kid I used to walk out the back porch and dig my bare toes into the cool
My great-grandmother is the best cook in the world. Dinner always had fresh vegetables from the garden. I used to sit on the kitchen floor and farm. I had these toy tractors I always got when I went with my Granddad to the John Deere House, so I acquired new machinery all the time. The kitchen place mats were my fields, and I plowed, sewed, sprayed, and harvested. I had a dairy too, and kept it well stocked with plastic hay bales. My farming business was so big it even had a crop duster fashioned from legos Pap cashed in from Cherrio boxes.
Pap died a few years back. My great-grandmother is now a widow. She still gets up every morning and cooks herself breakfast, cleans the house the same day of the week, not a piece of furniture has moved. She hasn’t let go. She can’t let go. The pictures of their trips to
The flower beds are all over-grown with weeds, and the grass is dying. The garden doesn’t exist anymore. His recliner remains empty. I remember him so well. How he loved her, and how he brought the family together. But as I look at my great-grandmothers eyes, I see the loneliness. She knows she is in the evening of her time here. And just as with the dying grass I am reminded of the brevity of my own life.
I miss my childhood. I miss eating cereal with my great-granddad.As I stand up to leave, and give her a hug, and over in the corner, all by itself, is a picture of my mother. The beautiful 22 year old doesn’t seem like she should be my mom, but that’s the only face I’ve ever know, forever young.
Truth is, I am scared. I am scared to embark on the “great” journey. I don’t know where I am going anymore. There is some hopelessness I feel, like what’s going to happen after all this is gone with the rest of my memories. I know, better than most, that never again will I walk off that porch and feel that grass on my feet, it died with my great-grandfather.