I finally drove by my father’s house yesterday. Yes, it was the first time I had done so since he died. I took advantage of the fact that I have several brothers and I let them remove his things from the house, take what they wanted, sell what they didn’t, and get the house ready for another family to live there.
I have to admit that I drove by rather quickly yesterday and I’ll have to repeat the process a couple of times before I really “see” the house. I know that my brother has worked very hard to clean the lot and repair the house, but I can’t absorb all of that while it’s still painful to know that Dad isn’t there.
There is more pain when I drive into the next block where my grandmother and great-grandmother once lived. You see, Russell Street used to be our family’s street. My Granny Simmons lived in a house on the lot where Dad’s old house now stands, and in the next block was Big Mama’s house, and on the next corner across the street was my grandmother’s house where my parent’s got married. Dad tore Granny’s house down when he built his. Both of the other houses have been totally “trashed” over the years and no longer bear any resemblance to the homes I remember from my childhood. It’s like part of our history has been removed from the books. I can only hope that the same fate does not befall Mom and Dad’s house.
I know that time and people move on. I know that houses get old and fall apart just as people do. But watching it happen still makes me sad and I hope that someone with children moves into Dad’s old house and loves it for a little longer.