Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's Ten Miles. But It's Over Here, Just Around The Corner You Know

My Great aunt Laura lived and died here in Spokane. I was about 10 when she passed away, but I do have quite a few fond memories of her. She lived with her half-sister Hester, (who for some reason scared me to death as a kid and I have no recollection exactly why other than she used a walker), in a small house on Euclid street.

When mom was in the third grade grandpa and grandma were divorced which forced grandma to take a job as a live-in house keeper. Grandma being unable to keep mom and her brother with her, sent them to live with grandpa's sister, aunt Laura. At that time Laura and her brothers lived on Cedar street. Mom and my uncle Jack, mom's brother, lived there for over a year. By the time I was born, Laura had moved in with Hester on Euclid street and until Mom moved in with us I had no knowledge there was house on Cedar street.

Mom has talked about this house many times since moving to Spokane and one day we took her by so she could see the old house again. It had a fresh coat of paint and the landscaping had changed, but she did recognize her childhood home away from home.

OK, so by now I am sure you're wondering just where this story is going.

For the past three weeks, at least once per day, when mom gets up from a nap she tells me that she just got home from Laura's house and that since she no longer has a car (a stab at me for selling her car), she walked there and back again. When she told me this the first few times I tried explaining to her that she had been dreaming. I added, It was more than ten miles to aunt Laura's house and there is no way she could walk there and back. However, being Mom, she was quite persistent that she had been to Laura's and had a nice conversation with someone, but she couldn't remember just who it was. Plus, it wasn't ten miles away, it's over here, just around the corner you know.

After those first few times I changed my strategy by just agreeing with her and asking if she had a good time. She replies that she did and then gives a detailed account of the house layout and where everyone slept back in the day. Mom slept on a small cot at the top of the stairs because there was no one for her to share a room with.

I realized that it makes her happy reliving those childhood memories and talking to relatives that have long been deceased. Perhaps this is her defense mechanism and how she deals with life knowing that besides us kids, she and her brother are the last of their family generation.

I'll never know the real answer to that, but I'm learning, if it makes Mom happy, it makes me happy. . .

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