Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thinking...about the old days...

I have been sort of nostalgic as of late. I think we all are, or is it just me?

Back in July we went to see my in-laws. We split the time between Mrs Marches father and then over to her moms. Her mom is getting ready to do a major renovation to her home and when we were there the phone was ringing a lot with contractors and other folks checking in.

When the day came for us to come home we were packing that final bag we stood in what was once Mrs Marches bedroom growing up. This would be the last time this room would look like this. I paused and said "do you want to hang out for a minute?" and she just said "No, it hasn't been my bedroom for years". I have moved from my childhood home to the home I live in now. I never lived at school so I think I'd react a little different. I am not slagging her off but it has gotten me thinking over the last few weeks, at random times, why we don't remember the "last time".

Let me explain.

My mother grew up on Cape Cod. Each summer we'd do various day trips. We'd leave the house by 8:30 be down on the beach for a little, then eat lunch, go back to the beach..go back to the house, get changed, eat dinner and then head home. 12 hour day..tops. I remember a LOT of those days and a lot of those trips. As I got a little older I was able to bring some friends because my older brothers had taken on summer jobs or what have you.

What I remember most, was the few times it would be my mother and I. We'd eat dinner with her Mom and Dad and I'd ask if I could go back to the beach for 20 minutes or so before we left. It would be 6:45 or so. I'd walk down the street 2-3 houses then up the beach path to the most private beach you could ever imagine. (it took me until I was in my teens to see a "beach" in the sense that more than 10 people would be on it). I'd get to the beach and I'd just sit. I was no older than 15, and I'd sit. I'd listen. I'd watch. I'd smell. Even as a young teenager to this day when stuff is not going the best for me I think of days like that. After a few minutes I'd get up and walk back to the house, say good-bye to my grandparents and head home. The ride home would start off in dusk. My skin would be warm and tight due to a day in the sun. Salt was on my lips still, sand between my toes, but only a little. I remember those days very very well.

Then my grandfather fell ill and they moved off the Cape.

In 20 years I have been to that slice of beach ONCE. That one time was closer to the start of the 20 years that is for sure.

Where is all this going? Well I got thinking..with all the fond memories I have of it..why for the life of me can't I recall the LAST time I was there with my Mom and we stayed for dinner? Was a teen and just wanted to leave? Was there an accident that was going to delay us getting home so my mom wanted to get rolling sooner than later? I don't want to get all deep and ask myself or readers "If you knew this was your last time would you have done something different?" I think you can't go on day to day saying "This might be my last time here" as you'd be a wreck emotionally.

My thoughts extended even further to this whole idea of a "last time'. Mind you I am not being morbid. My brother recently came back from a trip with his two boys and wife. He was telling me a story about how they went to see Fireworks and it was crowded. He said the took his sons hand and they made it to their viewing spot. My brother then said he thanked his son for holding his hand...because someday this was not going to be something he'd want to do. His son wondered why would he never want to hold his fathers hand? I won't go in to all the details as it was a sweet father son moment..but it is the things like that. When is the last time you held your fathers hand? (Or mothers?).

I guess I will look further when I say "Oh it has been ages since i have been there..or ages since I have done that!" Sure we want to forget "last times" as well, like the last time you got yelled at, the last time you had a dental filling done. Should great memories have a "last time?"

I guess living for the moment really is a good motto to live by.

6 Comments:

At Tuesday, August 19, 2008 4:48:00 PM , Blogger B. said...

The last time I held my father's hand was when we danced together at my wedding.....over 4 years ago.

 
At Tuesday, August 19, 2008 9:20:00 PM , Blogger Jenny G said...

Those moments wouldn't be as special if there wasn't a "last time."

My parents still live in the house that I grew up in. It's going to kill me when they move. I was actually going to buy it from them when they move, but now that I'm probably going to NC, that obviously won't work. My parents are in their 60s and I do think a lot how I should do as much with them as I can because I won't have as long with them as some people have with their parents.

 
At Wednesday, August 20, 2008 8:06:00 AM , Blogger Jocular Schlemiel said...

I'm with Jenny. If you keep doing them, like when you were a kid, it isn't a special trip to the beach. It is just a trip to the beach.

 
At Wednesday, August 20, 2008 11:04:00 PM , Blogger JamieSmitten said...

The last time my grandmother called me, I was asleep and didn't hear the phone ring. She died a few days later without me calling her back. However the 'last time' we talked, I ended the phone call like I always did: "I love you, Grammy." Last times are bittersweet, to be sure.

 
At Thursday, August 21, 2008 10:55:00 AM , Anonymous Jason said...

Great post. I'm as sentimental/nostalgic as they come and have similar thoughts all the time.

 
At Friday, August 22, 2008 10:15:00 PM , Blogger Rusty said...

I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face, March. (Gee, thanks!) I'm so nostalgic and emotional...so I completely understand your post.

Along the same lines as Jenny's comment, my mom is actually a bit older than her parents, and it breaks my heart (almost tangibly, like a constricted strangle in my chest) at the thought of not having her in my life as long as other people whose mothers had them at 20 instead of 40...I love her more than anyone else in the world.

I always, always tell her that I love her, and it's times when I'm thinking like this that I'm so glad I get over my anger with lightning speed. I'd hate to think if I held angry grudges...imagine the regret if something happened!

My parents are preparing to move out of the house I grew up in, and are renovating my grandparents' old house (that my dad grew up in). I hate the thought of them moving away from my childhood home, but I live 9 hours away! What am I going to do about it, you know?

I call my parents every night, but since they're spending the evening with my grandpa at my aunt's house, I think I'll call my dad's cell while they're there and talk to everyone. Seems fitting. :)

Beautiful post, March. Truly.

 

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