Sometimes blog addresses barely fit their name, their purpose graduating from original intent to something…else – wings of its author transporting it to a new path. Not so with leavingmemorylane.
The house to which I’ve dedicated this writing project now sits vacant. The pleasant chirp of family gatherings and the hum of daily routine are a faint echo. The décor now stands neutral, staged for visitors, would-be buyers. The cabinets are mostly bare, its contents sorted and distributed. Certain lights stay on all day, all night. For the first time in 40 years, it takes effort to make it look like someone is home. Casual passers-by notice nothing out of the ordinary, really. Just a for-sale sign signifying a transition, a decision for change. Quite a change indeed.
A mere 60 days previous to this one, dad made his own transition. Some back pain led to some tests followed by some question marks which opened the door to a diagnosis of cancer and a quick decline – all of which culminated in a heaven-ward home-going. The hands that swept, tended, and polished our family’s little piece of home are no longer busy.
And an even shorter amount of time has lapsed since mom changed addresses, left memory lane. Her days are filled with visiting and living – this is easier some days than others. The decision to move to an assisted living place for safety and for increased independence did not come gradually – as we would have all preferred. The sense of home sometimes become more fond in one’s memory and less comforting when the ease with which you once lived in it has faded.
The other day I sat in my car, stopped at an intersection, while an ambulance blared and rushed its way through to something urgent. I watched as less than a breath was taken before cars, briefly delayed by the emergency vehicle, hurried on – now playing catch up on their journey. It is difficult to believe how many large life events have transpired in the last 8 weeks. Some moments were urgent and full of crisis while others contained measured conversations, intense and important for planning and caring for such important people.
Ultimately, though, it’s much more straining on this little weary soul to comprehend this fact: life keeps going. Moments of loss happen all the time to every shape and size of us. And no one hits the pause button on the schedule. I am both soothed and discomfited by this data point.
And so, this blog address seems to fit its name, after all of the sirens and lights have calmed. Leaving Memory Lane. Yes we are.
G. Richard Blankinship
3.16.37 – 3.8.14