Home: A Place Your Feet May Leave But Your Heart Will Always Be.
Home. It means so many different things: where you grew up, where you raise your family, a place you can never return. But for me home will always be my maw-maw & paw-paw’s house in Kennesaw, GA.
After entering the house you were overwhelmed by the smell of a freshly cooked southern meal. Always a ‘you hungry or have you eat yet?’ No matter how much you’d eaten you were always gonna eat again at Maw-maw’s house. A meal would consist of some ah-mazing soul food. If we were lucky then Maw Maw would’ve also made one of her infamous peanut butter or coconut cakes too. All this deliciousness would be eaten around a beautiful old oak table. A table my own Maw-maw sat around as a child with her siblings & by all accounts a table that was now at least 90 years old.
After eating dinner we’d usually head outside to one of two places, the front porch swing or the backyard. Out on the front porch we’d sit in the swing and talk about life, drink some tea, and watch the cars go by. My Maw-Maw’s beautiful blue hydrangeas were the showpiece of the porch. Time slowed down & some wonderful memories were made.
If we didn’t hit the porch then we’d head towards the back yard. Under the most beautiful pecan trees sat a few metal gliders and some old metal chairs. Even in the dead heat of a GA summer, we could be found outside laughing at jokes and telling stories. My parents, aunts & uncles, and grandparents were ALWAYS laughing. My grandfather’s expansive garden served as the backdrop. Me and my brother (as well as our younger cousins) ran around like little banshees & swung on the old tire swing. A much simpler time than we know now.
As beautiful as these memories are, my sweet grandparents moved from that home over 25 years ago. Their new home, while lovely, never had the soul of that house in Kennesaw. Their old house was sold to build a new firehouse so the home itself is no longer standing. I went back their recently saw that that massive old oak tree had been saved and was just as majestic as it always had been. I collected some soil from that beloved place for my own bracelet. I wear it daily with these memories.
In 2014 & 2015, I lost them both. Married 71 years & seemingly invincible. Their deaths changed me. The realization that I’d eaten my last meal made by my Maw-maw, tasted the last batch of divinity candy at Christmas, gotten my last mailed birthday card, and received the last woodworking project made by my pawpaws hands, were all so overwhelming. So instead of dwelling on the lasts I try my best to honor them as I go about my life admiring those beautiful blue hydrangeas, gliding in that old metal glider under my pecan trees, and sitting at that old oak table eating dinner with my own family. They left me not only treasured memories but three of the my most prized possessions.
Now go call your grandparents. They miss you. They love you. They won’t be here forever. ❤️