The Keys

I spent a great deal of the day today with my mom. We have so much  fun when we are out together. We are at that point where we are just totally honest with each other. When I down and trying to pick myself back up, she tells me some of her stories.She is better than Aesop, there is always a moral to her stories.

Today, she had a doctors appointment and I drove her. She doesn’t drive, never has. We went to the appointment, out to breakfast and just walked around looking at different Christmas items in the stores we went into.

We were in no rush, I had taken the day off to spend with her. She is usually in a rush, my dad is not a shopper at all. He goes gets what he wants and he is out of the store. So, she doesn’t take a lot of time to mill about.

After she had gotten her shopping done, including a tradition with us, to see how many of the noisy Christmas toys we can get to play at once, today it was 16, We are the people you don’t want to be alone in that aisle of the store. We returned to her home.

As we pulled up to the ramp, which was actually built so that I could get my late husband into her house because he was in a wheelchair, she held her hand out. In it were two keys. You could tell from looking at them they were old. Then she told me the story of the keys. I had seen them before, but I didn’t know the story.

One was to the door of her childhood home. She and my grandmother stayed with my great-grandparents while my grandfather was in Europe during World War 2. This was the house that she always consider home. This is the home where her childhood memories dwell. This is when she talks about her childhood, those moments took place. I remember going there when we were little and the house was still in our family, it isn’t now.

I can still see the house with a hand made sign that stated the year it was built hanging on the outside of the roof eave just above the front door. In the yard, there was a pipe running up from the ground where water came straight from an underground spring. That was the coldest, best tasting water on the planet.

The other key was to the house her and my dad live in now. It was the key she got when they bought the house. It is the place where my childhood memories reside. My white dog, that got hit by a motorcycle and died in my arms. Laying in front of the stove on cold nights watching TV. Playing car sitting in a laundry basket and using a pot lid for a stirring wheel. My mom sitting and coloring with us. Pretending my baby blue bike was a Chevy Camaro.

Those futile attempts to do the impossible like riding said bike and fly a kite at the same time. Trying to turn a cartwheel. Skinned knees and broken hearts. My dad waking us up in the middle of the night to tell us that my so beloved grandmother had passed away from a stroke and not fully understanding how deeply it would affect me.

Successes like spreading pine needles the whole length of the field beside the house and making it all the way to the bottom riding a piece of cardboard. Twirling a baton. Coming home one day and a Chevette sitting in the drive way and them telling me a story making me think it belonged to someone else and it was my first car.  The morning after I got my diamond and I walked to the breakfast table and her words were Let Me See It!

There was laughter. There was a lot of hard work. The was a tremendous amount of love.

When they bought the house it was only three rooms. They eventually added two more rooms, borrowing a certain amount of money, buying building supplies and using those and paying for them before borrowing more money for the next phase.

As she told me about these keys, she was sharing part of her story with me. It is now part of my story. I took my cell phone out and took a snapshot of those two keys. They are part of my history. I need to remember them. Those keys unlocked a deeper connection to four generations.  She was also unlocking my own memory vault.

I have this same day shared the story of the keys with someone special in my life. I showed him the photo and told him a much more simple version of this story. . At this point it became a part of his story. He never knew my great grandparents or my grandparents. He has met my mom. Me sharing my story with him, it is now part of his story. And now it is part of your story if you read this blog.

We are all connected by our thread of humanness. We share and we connect, we live and we love. We make connections today that might be a happy memory tomorrow. Share your stories. Good stories, bad stories, stories that seemingly have not connection to the person listening. This is how I keep all those gone before me alive. Our physical bodies wear out, they get tired, the long for eternal peace and rest. We live on through the memories we make and share.

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