Friday, October 04, 2002

A dear friend of mine (who has no blog) has lived in the old family home for many years. The kinfolk had to sell the property recently, and Joey is in the process of moving for the first time in 20 years. He sent this to me today:

It has been a tumultuous month and these waning days have seen the pace of change quicken and the sense of loss both grow and diminish like a moon swept tide.

I am still far from having everything packed, much less moved out of the house, and progress took a major step back this evening. Mom stopped in to see if there was anything she wanted. After an hour or so she called a cousin of mine and asked her about a clock in the den. "Yes," she answered "I gave that to Momaw and Popaw years ago for Christmas."

My mother then suggested she come over and get it. I was not thrilled with the idea because I knew I would be busy Saturday night packing.

About half an hour later my phone rang and it was Donna calling to tell me that she was pulling into my drive to come get the clock. I looked out the door to see two vehicles pulling up with six relatives.

They spent the next few hours going through stuff while I tried to separate my goods from the communal stash. I ended up giving away several of my grandparents' items I had planned to keep.

At first I was disappointed at the loss but quickly realized these people needed keepsakes as much as I did. For years I have lived daily with the memory of my grandparents while one of my cousins had done her best to avoid the subject. Tonight she went through files of photos, and piles of pots, pans and trinkets, gathering her own mementos.

I floated from group to group (another uncle and aunt showed up) then wandered into the kitchen where I found Donna sitting in the floor crying, reading the scrawl of my grandmother's handwritten recipes. At that moment I would have gladly given away everything in the house to each and every one of my relatives if I though it would touch them the same way.

I will miss this place terribly. It is the closest thing to home I've had since college. But in the back of my mind I've always known I would have to some day leave. I only with it were under different circumstances.

However, there is a silver lining. These past few hours have reinforced the fact that although my wants are many, my needs are few. I don't know how this will all turn out but I have faith it will, as always, move me forward. An era (albeit a small one) is ending. I can't help but wonder what the next one will bring.