I’ve been going through old family pictures lately and thinking about what we leave behind. When I travel back to places I lived as a child, I think about what might have been. I notice the changes to those towns, to the houses where my family once resided. Time marches on in those places and I wasn’t there to see it.
My aunt passed away a few weeks ago and as I wander through her house, now empty except for the furniture, I wonder where did she go? All of her things are gone. Her jewelry, her clothes, her dishes. The house is just a house without her in it. The houses where I once lived are just houses. People, families, are what makes a house a home. I think of all the sad abandoned houses that were once full of life.
In addition to some of my aunt’s antique dish collection, there is a stack of photos and albums left for me. I marvel at the number of bad photos, often in duplicate and triplicate. My aunt’s diaries? Those I will keep.
I think about all of the sad houses. The ones that have been abandoned and left to fall apart. Someone died, maybe. All the stuff that made that house a home disappeared until soon there was nothing left of those who once lived there. Except a long-forgotten marker in a cemetery. Did those one-time occupants of those houses leave anything else behind? Am I leaving anything of myself behind?
Maybe my writing will survive me. For awhile. But ten or fifty or hundred years from now no one will have heard of or remember me. Unless they happen across one of my journals someone saved or an ancient book I wrote.
#families #houses #memories #cemeteries