A few months ago my grandfather Moses Ray Hiatt passed away, he was 84 years old leaving behind an incredible life filled with Friends, Family, and accomplishments. Last night my Father, his wife Deborah, and I were given the opportunity to go through the house that my grandfather had built, my father grew up in, and our family had once called home. It was strange for me to be in a place that I had spent so many childhood years and to be overcome with the flood of memories that I left in that house.
We pulled into the driveway around 8:00 P.M. The large willow tree that my cousins and I would spend our days climbing stood, bare of it's long skinny branches and sweet smelling leaves, reaching it's way to the sky, stretching out and in it's own way trying to touch god. My eyes fixed on the houses fading red brick and long paned windows, dingy with the years of keeping families safe from wind and rain, I sighed knowing that this might be the last time I'd see this house as I did in my youth. The sound of the now rusted wind chimes sang out where once a small humming bird had nested many years before. I approached the doorway and grasped the cold metal handle and started my way in.
It's funny how you can enter a house that you have visited for years and have it suddenly feel as if it were your first time. The carpet hadn't been changed since it was built, all the trinkets and furniture were still the same, the only real difference was the silence. I could still smell the cookies, rice krispy squares, and the hot cocoa that my grandmother would bake when we would visit. And listened for the music that she would play and sing from her organ.
I looked through the rooms and let every memory overtake me. From the Far side wall calender in the kitchen that hadn't been changed since 1994 to the Keebler measuring chart with all of the grandchildrens heights marked off on them since we were 4, I laughed at the fact that I had only grown 5 inches since I was 12....nice.
Then the auction came, my father and his siblings were given some extra inheritance money to bid on items left in the house, (E.G. the television, beds, couches, nick knacks and so on and so fourth.). Hours later it was like being in a shell. A Hollowed out space where memories once lived and were now forced to find new homes in our thoughts. The only thing left was a large wooden hope chest that my grandfather had built for my grandmother. Inside it were his Uniform from World War 2 when he served in the Navy. My grandmothers wedding dress and a stack of love letters my grandfather had written to while he was at War for 3 years. I opened them up and felt the cool silk touch of the paper. When I read his words to her it was like peering into the life of someone I didn't even know and to see a whole new side to someone I was so close to.
Anyways this has been drawn out long enough, I just hope that everyone will cherish memories that they have more because I feel like I almost lost those memories until now. Hold them close, never let them go.