Yesterday Dad and I reminisced during a long phone conversation. Often reminiscing is a nice thing to do. Many of the stories I hear from him now are treasures because if I don't hear and learn some of them they could be lost forever.
I'm understanding more why older folks like to talk about the past. It is like visiting a place that feels welcoming and peaceful and safe. Where there was a connection to people that mattered. Especially if the event or remembrance was a happy one.
The world sometimes feels scary to me and I am finding it hard to feel "home" anywhere. My mom was "home" to me... then Edd. He told me home for him was wherever I was and I felt the same about him. After two years without him, and mom gone too, I'm still feeling lost. If I dig down deep I have to admit that I feel a bit unsafe, scared, and disconnected. In a big way it is a relief and feels good to just admit that. To realize why I feel the way I do and say it out loud. Even have a good cry. Oh, I've moved forward. I enjoy life and friends and family, but I still look over my shoulder... behind me....
I recently pulled up two different addresses on my computer and saw the homes of my mom's parents and my dad's parents... and what the houses look like today. My mom and dad grew up in these two houses ... and I had visited them hundreds of times when we visited my grandparents as I was growing up. The two houses were only three miles apart from each other so when my parents were in high school and began dating, they lived closer to one another than I had realized.
Dad and I talked about that. I think it was a nice thing for him to think about.
The houses had changed. One of them changed a lot and looked very different now with new construction everywhere. It was bigger and yet I could still see it for what it once was. The homes used to be filled with my family members and many of our experiences. Now they contain new people with different lives.
But the mind can still remember....we can go back in our memory and see it again ....
I know life is to be lived.... to grasp what is in front of us today... and reach for tomorrow.... but I find a bit of my stability in the past. I wish I was stronger. I may appear to be so... but my body often tells me it isn't.
Dad and I talked about this being Memorial Day weekend and talked about the family gatherings of the past. We would all gather at my grandparents' house and like many other families we'd have a cookout and have lots of good things to eat. We didn't have outdoor gas grills back then but would have a big charcoal fire that would start out with high flames before the lighter fluid burned off and the coals got good and hot for the hamburgers and hot dogs. Tables and chairs would be set up near the garage and the car would be pulled out so we could transfer the party inside in case of rain. I can still remember times it did rain and we took refuge in the dry space and watched it pour outside ... never spoiling our fun.
Memorial Day weekend is for remembering our Armed Forces and those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom and way of life. I'm aware today of those who have given so much, suffered and paid the ultimate price. I can't even begin to know of the hardships, fears, and losses felt by so many over the years as they marched off to war or an unknown land ....and an involvement or cause that they had no control over.
I can only acknowledge it, honor them in my thoughts and prayers.... and say thank you.
"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself." ~Maya Angelou