I’ve written about my grandma before. She’s a pretty feisty lady. She’s also a very brave lady.
It’ll be two years next month since my grandpa died. He had lung cancer. Since that time, my grandma has lived in their dream house – alone. The house they saved and planned for. The house where they welcomed their children and grandchildren for summer vacations. The house where they were going to live out their golden years, just the two of them.
My grandpa grew up fishing and swimming in the lakes, rivers, and oceans of North Carolina. Grandma will remind us that ‘Pawpaw’ wanted to instill a love of the ocean into his family. He certainly did that. In 23 years, I’ve spent every summer with my grandparents at Sunset Beach.
That is, until this summer.
Last week, my grandma finalized the sell of their dream house.
It’s been sold to a new family who will make new memories where mine once did.
I’m proud of my grandmother for having the courage to try something new. For carving her own path in my grandfather’s absence. She says that every corner of their home reminded her of him, and loneliness is an overwhelming house guest. I admire my grandmother, but I can’t help but feel a sense of loss.
For some reason, I never dreamed that my grandparents wouldn’t live at the coast.
I’d always assumed my children would spend their summers at the beach with my grandma and grandpa.
But that just isn’t the case.
I suppose I forget that, as I grew, my grandparents were growing, too.
Even now, I feel the tug of the ocean tide. My toes sink into imaginary sand, slipping away just like time. Two years ago I felt the deepest, cutting sense of loss at the death of my grandfather. And, now, I feel deeply that I’ve lost my childhood also.
It’s maybe a frivolous sentiment. After all, I’m a married woman with a baby on the way; of course I’m not a child anymore. Except, now, I know it’s really gone. I can’t go back. The house is sold. My grandmother has moved. There literally isn’t room in the house of my childhood anymore.
Now, I suppose, I get to leap ahead into the future. The sun has set on my adolescence, but it’s just dawning for my baby. We have years of child rearing ahead, years of making memories. Years of catching her first fish and collecting shells and establishing traditions.
So, for that, I leap.