Monday, June 8, 2009

Connections



The picture is of my ring and not my fat fingers! This ring was given to me by my mom: it was made by my great-great grandmother for my greataunts from a pair of cameo earrings she had.

This past weekend was a weekend of memories. I spent it with my parents - and in all my life, I don't remember my dad being as happy. It was wonderful.

It was yardsale days in the little town where I grew up and where my parents still live. My brother, my sister-in-law (who is a rabid yardsale shopper), my niece and my nephew. We all went yardsaling and it was like a walk down memory lane.

First stop was the house next to my parents'. I remember the time when my brother ran his bike into the backend of the Beers' (first owners) truck and bent his bike frame. I remember when the next owner's lived there and grew the biggest and sweetest blueberries I've ever tasted. They also had a little fat chihuahua, Bruno, who walked 30 miles back home when being babysat during a family vacation. The current owners, I don't know. They keep to themselves and I haven't had the chance to meet them.

Next week went to the house across the street which was built when I was in junior high. I remember the original owners: serious motorcyclists, Black Cat, Spyder, and Kitten. And also some of the nicest people I've ever met in spite of the fact that my brother teased the boys constantly. The 2nd set of owners were a very reclusive man and a very pleasant woman and 3 daughters who were friends of my daughter. The woman died of cancer, the girls grew up, and the man moved away. The current owners who moved in late last year began fixing the place up just when the wife died unexpectantly this past Christmas. I didn't know until after, that the bakeware - the breadpans and slicer - were hers.

We hit a number of houses that had been homes of some of my friends. It seemed strange to see different people in these places that I used to know so well. I felt as if I had gone back in time when I hugged the mom of a friend I hadn't seen in 30 years. I saw people I hadn't seen in years and hid behind the disguise of aging. And it occurred to me:

All of these years I avoided reunions of any kind. I didn't particularly care for most of the people I graduated high school with and didn't keep up with those I liked. Maybe I need to rethink this and maybe the purpose of reunions aren't just to see how well some of my peers fared in life. Maybe the purpose is to simply reconnect with that part of my life. Like it or not, these people had a huge impact on how I feel, how I think, and how I react to life.

Maybe these connections to the past help us deal with the future and the unavoidable conjuring up of feelings from the past is really a way to help us understand our present.

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