I walked into my Granddaddy's house for the very last time this Summer. The sights, the smells, the memories, they all become so much more powerful when you know that this is it.
This was the place my enormous family gathered during Holidays, special events and just because, because why not? We opened presents here on Christmas morning. We ate Turkey here on Thanksgiving Day. We played foxes and hounds and Ghosts in the Graveyard and swam in the pool for hours on end on hot Summer days. Family was everything, and no matter how far away we moved, we always came back to this place, to each other.
This Summer was supposed to be more of the same.
Instead, we mourn.
Home as I know it will never, ever be the same - for a great many reasons I'm not ready to talk about.
I've tried to write these words for months now, and I never get very far. The cursor blinks on my screen as I stare in silence at the monitor and try to figure out what to say next.
The answer is always the same.
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
Even the days and the photos leading up to making it home never make it anywhere, because I see those roads and know exactly where they lead.
Yet, everything after feels like a lie.
Because I can't tell you why I'm really here and I can't tell you how I really feel. Not because I lack the ability to write the words - but because I just don't have any.
We lost 2 family members this Summer to Cancer. I nearly lost a third, my Sister. Her story is not mine to tell and even if it was, those things stay private. I will say she's been fighting for her life for months. For a while there, my 2 year old nephew was faced with the prospect of not having a Mother.
And then there's Rosie....my beloved 14 year old rescue dog, who began coughing & refused to walk on the 2nd day of our road trip back East this Summer. As soon as we made it to Georgia I took her to the Vet, my childhood friend, where she was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and given a year to live.
These are the facts.
And I still don't have words.
So I'm going to pack all of this up, put it in a box, and place it carefully over in a corner.
I don't know yet what to do with all these shattered pieces; but I can no longer stand here, frozen, staring helplessly at the destruction left from this Summer.