This morning my dad and uncle finished the final closing paperwork on the sale of my grandparents home. I was just there last Saturday, going through memorabilia and items to take with me. I knew then that it would be the last time I would be in that house that holds so many memories, not only for me, but for my dad and uncle, my cousins, my brothers, my nephews. I didn’t know it would hit me like this until my aunt posted two final pictures of the house today … two places that had a rich deep meaning for all of us “Smith’s.”
This picture is of the kitchen window, the first thing we would see when we would pull in the driveway. My Meme Smith was always in the kitchen, and you could always count on seeing her bright smile and that “Jackie” wave. I fight back tears knowing I won’t see that again, that my nephews will not grow up knowing what a true and beautiful woman she was in her better years; as her mind has subsumed to deep dementia. Through that window where many meals of fried potatoes and white beans, biscuits and fatback, and of course some type of cake. Some would say that it is just a house, but for me and my family it is so much more – it is a lifetime of being together: birthdays, lunches and dinners, sleepovers on the quilt pallets, and most of all Christmas with the long white couch (we have not idea how they got it in that house!). But see, to us it is more than a house because, there are no more dinners, fried taters, white beans, cabbage, or cake. It has been that way for a few years now, but with the sale of the house, those cherished times will be no more but a memory.
This picture is of the back porch. I can’t count the number of times we have sat on that port in the white plastic chairs, seeing my grandparents snap and can beans; swatting the bumble bees away. This was the place to talk, a place where decisions were made, a place where you could always go to “sit a spell.” Looking out you can now see the resemblance of what used to be a neatly plowed garden that produced corn, beans, you name it. You never knew what you might find hidden in the pump house, or in the back porch cabinet. This was the place where you were greeted at the door to come in, sit, talk, embrace, eat, and share love with two people that were honest, hard workers, who gave all they had to share their love with the Smith family.
Well, this is all we have now. The items we took from the house, to place within our own homes to cherish and remember the times we ate of those plates, had sweet tea out of those glasses, and fat back out of that pan. Tears and grieving of a home will continue, but the water coming from our eyes cannot wash away the memories we will cherish.
Thank you God for two wonderful people, a loving home, and a beautiful family.