The Judds song Grandpa. How I love the lyrics.
Grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like this worlds gone crazy
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
When the line between right and wrong
Didn’t seem so hazy.
I could not help but think of the lyrics as I Mother drove me around the neighborhoods of her youth. I mentioned to her remembering only one thing about my Grandmommy’s home, the brick wall around the carport. It had perfect squares that reminded me of the squares from the Price Is Right game where you put the dice in with the correct numbers to win the car. Funny how we associate things. Associating probably helped me remember it.
When we arrived at the end of the street where the house stood, Mother commented that she had not seen it driving by. She then told me the number we were looking for. Before this point I looked for the familiar brick work. We turned the car around, as the numbers on the homes descended, getting closer to the house number we looked for, a childlike eagerness rose. Almost holding my breath as I recorded with my Iphone. Then we arrived.
Our hearts sank. An empty lot where the home once stood. The home where I ate many hard Christmas candies. You know the kind only grandparents bought back in the day. It was not really that it tasted that great, but it was a special treat for being at Grandmommy’s–those candies.
The house where I would see placed carefully on her dresser, the hairnets. Meticulously made with strands of her own hair. My heart was sad. More sad for my Mother than myself, she had many more memories than I in the home. Grandmommy passed away a few weeks before my fifth birthday.
We went by the family burial plot. I do not know that I have been there since I was a child. It’s very humbling to stand at the feet of these amazing people. I have read and researched so much in family history. I love my family. As I stood at Papa’s feet, I thought about his life. His Daddy had mental health problems, and back in his day they did not have the help we do now. He died in an institution. As sad as that is, it also connects me to him. An empathy that I have not felt before as I thought about him. Three of my Grandmother’s sisters were buried there with their parents, I only knew one of them. The others passed away before my birth.
I wore a short-sleeved shirt today not realizing the temperature would drop steadily. When I looked down at my goose bump filled arms, I saw something else that I inherited from this side of my family. Freckles. Those freckles that I cursed as I teen, I learned to accept and see at a link to my irish heritage as an adult. Both Papa and Grandmommy’s family heritage gift to me.
All in all it the day brought smiles with only a few tears. I am so grateful for the smiles. I am grateful for the memories Mother shared, and the new memories we created together. My heart needed it. I felt like me.
My doctors appointments went well also. My doctor added Abilify to my medicines hoping to amp up my other meds enough that I will not have the panic attacks. Keeping my fingers crossed. Since there is not a medication specifically for dissociative disorders you must treat the symptoms and the anxiety and depression, and work on integration.
One of the things that makes me sad when I think about it, is after having such a peaceful, pure, and innocent experience with Little Shanna the other day. Developing a relationship with her. I do not want her or me to think of integration as me getting rid of her or killing her. I keep trying to tell myself that it is like me hugging her really really tight, so tight that she becomes a part of me. I hope she feels that way.