Sometimes the littlest thing triggers a memory. It will stop you right in your tracks. You are present, however, your mind takes you to another time.
Perhaps this place your mind takes you to is a long concrete front yard. One side has grass and the other is the patio per say. There is a charcoal grill warming up in the corner. (That smell is the trigger of all of this.) Webbed folding chairs line the yard in hues of orange, green, yellow, and blue. A red, wooden, old school picnic table is filled with “the old folk”. A few “youngins” are part of the group as well. A poker game is being played. Even though the bets are in pennies, this game is being taken pretty seriously.
On the grass are the rest of the “youngins”. Young ones. Old ones. They just blend in a sea of togetherness. A ball is being kicked around. Hide and seek is well underway. A laugh here. Conversations mingling there. And then a creaking sounds breaks the conundrum. More visitors have come through the black wrought iron front gate. Conversations stop. Hugs ensue. Smiles and handshakes everywhere.
In the midst of all of this, a face. A smile. That knowing look of “This is my family and I love it”. The glue that bound us altogether. That glue still holds to this day. Miles and miles may separate us. Life may take us in different directions. But there is that togetherness. The knowledge that you are part of something that is bigger than any of us.
Over ten years have come and gone since that face and that smile were with us. Wow! More than ten years. Life goes on. But the thought of living a full life without the voices. Without the laughter. It seems unfair at times. The stories will endure. The togetherness will be there. However, there is that presence that is there but isn’t.
Then life reels you back in and you are taken out of the memory. It slips away as quickly as it appeared. Hold on to the memories. There will be another trigger that brings them back. You hold the key to the past. Just keep it close to your heart. You will never be without :).
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