Posted by: Kathy | January 2, 2012

A Drive Into the Past

Last week we went out to lunch with my son’s godparents and their children. It had been a few years since I’d seen my college friend. It was a great lunch and I hope that only months pass between our visits instead of years from now on. As we were driving to lunch I realized that we were not too far from where my grandparents used to live. After we’d finished eating and parted ways with my friends, I asked my kids if they wouldn’t mind driving to where my grandparents used to live since it would probably add an hour to a trip that would take us almost an hour to get home to begin with.

As I was driving down Rt 611, memories of times past started flooding into my mind. There were bad memories as we passed the hospital where both my grandparents had been patients and where my grandfather had died. Then there was the funeral home where both of their funerals had been held. But then we started passing places of good memories like the almost 300 year old church where my grandparents had regularly attended Sunday services for many years. I often came with them for special occasions like the Christmas Eve service. We saw stores that had been there for so many years and the train station my mom, brother, and I often got off at when we decided not to drive to visit my grandparents. I pointed out these places to the kids, telling them stories of the past, as we drove toward my grandparents’ former home.

I was worried that I wouldn’t remember how to get to their house. I knew where to turn off of 611 to get to where their house was located, but I wasn’t sure of where to find the exact street. As I made the turn and drove slowly to look at the street signs, their street was the first one I came upon. I was so excited as I turned onto their street. My son was amazed at the old houses we passed and starting taking pictures with his cell phone. It had been at least 15 years since I’d been in the area, but it was like nothing had changed.

I stopped in front of my grandparents’ house and got out of the car. As I stood on the narrow street and looked at the house, I was reminded of all the good times I spent there. I took several pictures with my cell phone and hoped that no one would walk out of the house and ask me what I was doing. I didn’t want anyone interrupting this time. I felt like I had come home again, come back to my second home. Besides the addition of the dormers as a second story, nothing else about the house seemed to have changed.

I longed to go inside the house, but just couldn’t bring myself to knock on the door. Besides I wanted to remember the house the way I knew it. In my mind I could picture each room the way it had been decorated when my grandparents lived there, and as I thought about each room memories of the times I spent there warmed my heart. I was very close to Mom Mom and Pop Pop, my mom’s parents. As a child I spent a lot of time at their home. The only memories I have of that house are ones filled with laughter and love. My grandparents were wonderful people who, like my mom, made a big impact on my life.

It was a cold, windy day and although my body felt chilled to the bone, my heart was filled with warm memories as I jumped back into the car and started the drive back home. My son only knew my grandmother. My grandfather died when Matt was less than a year old, but at least my grandfather knew my son. Matt was 6 years old when Mom Mom died and I was pregnant with Nikki. I know Matt enjoyed visiting the house and the area where I spent part of my childhood. I know it didn’t mean as much to Nikki, but I’m glad she got to see the house and hear some stories about my grandparents. All the way home, I felt the loss of both my grandparents and my mom. But it was worth it to see that house again.

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