Mementos

I don’t think I really understood the question. I still don’t.

My mom asked it clearly enough: “Do you want anything from the house?”

She was referring to my grandparent’s house. One they’d built – with the help of my young uncles and other contractors. The house she’d grown up in, where their handprints can still be seen in the sidewalk. The house I sometimes spent summers in (at least, when I wasn’t spending summers at my other grandparent’s house), where there wasn’t really any TV stations worth watching and besides, Grandpa had always wanted to watch sports instead of cartoons.

The house that bothered and spooked me more than being in the funeral home. Sure, there was a thing that looked like my grandmother at the funeral home. But there was a palpable absence (a double absence, to be honest) in that house that left me shaken.

And my mother’s question did not compute. Everything in that house was… well, supposed to be there. It didn’t belong anywhere else. There was already enough emptiness there; I was not going to make more.

Additionally, the furniture all screamed 1950’s style and not a bit of it would fit in my small car.

But mostly the emptiness thing.

I listened to my mother talking about other relatives already starting to – politely, mostly – discuss who would get what things, and I didn’t – and still don’t – really understand the impulse.

I wandered downstairs eventually, thinking that I might find the old Stratego set that I amused myself with when I stayed there. Only my grandma would play me – my sister would get upset at losing – and so I thought maybe I’d find that.

I didn’t – it was probably donated or thrown out after my grandfather died. But I did find this:

A toy cow on a wood desk

This little cow, part of a Fisher Price farm set, is something I distinctly remember playing with at my Grandma’s house. And as I was the oldest grandchild, I’m certain that all my cousins played with this little cow. And I imagine, that like with me, sometimes she played along with each of them.

So let someone else have the china or the silver. It’s just things.

I’m happy with this little cow.

Featured Photo by Phad Pichetbovornkul on Unsplash

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