I am from the green Cape atop the hill, from the house with shuttered windows and the cold stone porch. From the creaking old wood floors and the doors that never locked, from the scent of lemon Pledge and apple pies. I am from the town too small for its own high school, from the deep woods where hunters give no pause before shooting dogs they think are deer. I am from the rocky cliffs and mossy woods, from the worn dirt paths and clear streams. I am from the earth.
I am from steaming pots of chili and pans of lasagna. I am from red brick linoleum and vintage Pyrex bowls. I am from mismatched furniture and crocheted rugs, from the warm belly of our dog, Misty, from the lingering hope that she could live forever.
I am from the red, Radio Flyer wagon being pulled across the lawn to my grandfather’s greenhouse, I am from the twisting grape vines and apple trees, from the thorns of rose bushes my great-grandmother tended until she couldn’t anymore. I am from the backyard that fell away into the earth, I am from excavators digging for buried treasure. I am from my grandfather’s musty basement workshop, from the strong arms of the only man I will ever completely trust.
I am from snowstorms that kept us locked in for weeks, huddled around the woodstove playing Little House on the Prairie. I am from Hidden Acres and campfires, from catching lightning bugs and star-counting. I am from Gladys, Robert, Barbara, and Patricia. I will never belong to anyone but them.
I am from a history of happenstance, I am from secret dreams and secret lives. I am from a series of unfortunate events and from an ache of missed chances and dashed hopes.
I am from the bedroom where I cried when my grandparents moved away, from the lonely halls of the nursing home where I watched Nana die. I am from silence and regret for things silenced. I am from loss and learning and laughter.
I am from Salem, I am from the town cemetery where our plots have already been bought and marked. I am from the place my family returns to, not often enough. I am from the home I know. I am from somewhere I want to get back to.
This is a meme that has been going around blogland for quite a while now – the original prompt can be found here.
As I wrote this, finally, I started weeping – the tears are still coming, actually. I have to call my grandparents tonight. I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I started writing about them, and now I just want them home. This was an amazing experience, writing this little piece.