How Did I Get Here, And Where Is The Next Turn?

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Brought up May 18, 2013

Reunion Day

Today is not a very good day. It should be, but it isn't.

Every year at this time, my family has a reunion. Originally, I believe, it was in July, to celebrate my grandfather's birthday. He passed away when I was a baby, so I only remember it being this time of year. Decoration Day is tomorrow where my grandparents, great grandparents, and my dear uncle are buried. For those not from around here, Decoration Day is the one day a year that we honor those buried in this particular cemetery. It's a different day for other places, Many of the graves remain bare all year, but some families make sure at least this weekend, flowers are placed on the graves of their loved ones gone on. It just evolved into the family gathering at my grandmother's house, everyone with a dish to pass. It is the one time of year we all gather, catch up on everyone's lives over the previous year. It's mostly the old guard that keeps it all going. They are in their 80s now, and each year or so, we lose another one.

Today was bittersweet. It was wonderful to see them, being hugged by those older ladies that still act like I am about 12 sometimes. It does my heart good.

My mom's generation seems to be picking up the mantle of it all, but I wonder how many more of these days there will be. My generation seems to have little interest in keeping those family ties bound. My brother, sister, one cousin and I were the only ones of our generation there with our families.

The hardest part of it all is that it is still at what was my grandmother's house. It isn't her's anymore. I wrote about that last year. I could not set foot inside it, after seeing the changes through the door. Today, I took a deep breath, and went inside.

My cousin owns the house now, and she has remodeled it completely. It is beautiful, but it is not my Granny's house now. There are traces of her, tiny ones, but in such a way that they are mere echoes. Her bed is there in one room, but not her room, and it seems to have had the finish stripped off. The bed she gave me, but I never received after she died, is not there, nor other pieces of furniture we were assured 'went with the house.' I have no clue where they are, and I guess it's none of my business. Still, she was as much my grandmother as she was my cousin's, and at first I was angry to not get anything I was promised. Today, I made peace with all that, or at least tried. I smiled, I chatted, I ate like a pig.

All the time there, my mind was screaming, my eyes stinging at the tears I refused to show. It breaks my heart that my cousin seems to have erased almost all of my Granny from what was her home as a young wife and mother, then grandmother, and great grandmother.

It's just a house now, my memories gone from it with the bar where I would eat sometimes as a child, the sink where I washed many a dish. Even the walk way that our grandfather made, broken as long as I can remember, but every inch known in the dark, is replaced with a nice, well framed walkway. I hate it.

My Granny would not care much for the house now, I think. She was just a country girl, born and bred, after all, and the new decor, though very nice, is a pale imitation of 'country.' (Okay, I just have to say one mean thing. That damned turkey print over the couch really sucks!) I could see my Granny walking through that house, and being afraid of messing it up, or smudging something. She would fuss about how much trouble it would be to keep the wood floors clean and not scuffed. I think she might like the new kitchen, except for the lights that really put out a lot of heat. She would have trouble getting out of the living room furniture, or onto the dinning area chairs. She would say the walls are too dark, and complain that the lights have to be on in the daytime because of the wooden blinds. I could be wrong, of course. It's just my Granny was a simple woman with simple taste. Things were there to be used, not admired.

I just really miss my Granny today.

Comments (2)

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mr. wayne » 5 years ago

Well my granny would have just liked it restored not remodeled to a new age. My granny was born in the early 1900's not 2012 my granny was old fashion. A big ole box fan not giant ac units. She watched channel 13 not satellite. When my granny past away I stopped talking to most of my family because there is way to much drama and I'm an adult now so I don't have time for that happy.

wee woman » 5 years ago

Its like it is at my mom and dad's... by this time next month someone else will own the house and gut and remodeled it. I just have to hold memories. Its no longer their house, own home.

All we can do it hold on to happiness we had. Now future generations will have their own memories.