Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Bittersweet Symphony

It’s funny how being in one place makes you understand how you belong to another. Now I’m not talking just about belonging to a place because you are comfortable there, have friends there, and know your way around, I’m talking about having roots somewhere. People my age especially neglect the importance of roots and history. We want to buck tradition and strike it out on our own. In a very bittersweet and timely sort of way, I had my roots and history thrust at me on the very day that we moved.

You see, my Dad’s Dad passed away on Saturday, April 26th, the very same day we unloaded all of our belongings into the three-story townhouse that we now reside in. He lost an epicly heroic battle with cancer and Parkinson’s, but is now in his heavenly dwelling where there is no chemo, no medicine, and most importantly for him (I bet), no walkers or wheelchairs. (Side note, I always cry when I think about healing after someone dies of a terrible illness. It’s what we all long for, isn’t it? To be what we were created to be in the first place. I know I do.) So, long story kind of short, we quickly unpacked a few things so that we could pack again and hop into the car for the 10 hour drive to Dudley, GA, where my parents grew up and where this particular grandparent, Papa, spent the majority of his life. I was able to spend most of the week there with my grandmother, aunt, and the rest of ‘em (as they say) listening to stories about how many people Papa helped without ever expecting anything in return and eating the best food that can be found on this planet. What I lost on April 26th was monumental, but what I gained in the aftermath of that day could be spoken of on the same terms. I had always had an appreciation for Dudley (Population 498) as the place where both of my parents grew up and where both sets of my grandparents lived during my childhood, but now I love it. It’s where my grandma, Meme (Papa’s wife of 52 year – there will be a post on her soon), still lives. It’s a place where pecans can be picked up by the bucket, the peas are to die for, a place where people bring so much food when a person passes away, someone actually brings an extra refrigerator, and a place where you can still charge things to an account that is still maintained and calculated by hand at the local store (my grandfather’s). It’s a place where my roots are.

I was also going to talk about Athens here, but it seems that this post is getting long already. Suffice it to say that right now I feel like a plant that was taken out of the soil I sprung from a seed in and put into a big ugly pot on someone’s front porch that is already littered with other plants in other ugly pots. This is not where I belong. I was just reminded, though, that there is a time to plant and a time to uproot.

Coldplay comes to mind here, “And it’s a bittersweet symphony, that’s life…”

1 comment:

CityStreams said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Papa. I'll never forget going to their store. He handed us each a brown lunch sack and told us to pick out all the candy we wanted. Then we got to go back behind the milk cases in the refrigerator. We could actually walk around back there! Pretty neat stuff for a 12 year old! I'll be praying for your family.