A couple months before I turned five, my grandmother died.
She passed away suddenly, in late July, just a month or so before I was slated to start Kindergarten.
I still remember the day that my mom told me we were moving in with my grandfather. I was in the living room, sitting on the floral-pattern-on-blue couch.
I was watching television on the big old monster of a tv set. Remember them?
“We have to move in with Pop Pop,” she said. Wait – WHAT? MOVE IN WITH POP POP? Why on Earth did we have to do that?!
When I started to cry, my mom attempted to put the whole ordeal into a simple explanation that a 4-almost-5 year old could understand, “Devon, we have to move in with Pop Pop because he needs our help. His eyes don’t work too well anymore. We have to live with him because he will need help reading the buttons on his VCR and reading the labels on his soup cans.”
True. Story. We evidently had to sell our house and move a couple of towns away to prevent my grandfather from recording over his St. Elsewhere reruns and save him from eating clam chowder when he was actually craving chunky tomato.
In my inexperienced mind, her rationale really did make sense. But it sure did make me sad to have to move.
I loved where we lived. I had a great swing set in the backyard along with a DOME CLIMBER (which, coincidentally, I now realize that I have always called it a DUNE climber. Whoa.).
(I’m not sure what the reason was that we couldn’t simply disassemble both pieces of equipment and cart them to Pop Pop’s house. It was probably because they were both big pieces of crap and on the verge of collapse. I guess we’ll never know.)
I loved our extra room where my sister and I practiced all sorts of important things.
I was sad that we would have to leave behind the massive fence that my dad and grandfather had painstakingly built (and painted!) to hide the icky neighbors on the other side from view. I did not help build the fence, nor did I help to paint it – but I sure was sad to see all that effort wasted.
I was sad to leave my very best friend in the whole world. She lived next door to us. Our yards were separated by a very large, long hedge with a gate at the end. It’s amazing what kind of games you can invent and play with a big ‘ol gate in between you. Popular games included BANG! BOOM! CRASH! (don’t ask) and various scenes acted out that featured Luke Skywalker with an occasional appearance by Princess Leia.
There were so many things that I would miss when we moved! Funny that so many of them revolved around our tiny little yard…
We left all of these things behind – the swing set, dome climber, hedge, gate, fence, sister (just kidding).
But there was one thing from that yard that we did bring with us – because my mom insisted. She demanded that my dad dig up the lilac bush that was in the front yard. Dig it up he did, and into the new yard it went. And while new swing sets and hedges and other yard atrocities have come and gone over the years, that lilac bush remains and continues to thrive.
Lily Bean and I took a “nature walk” today around our yard and I was excited to see that the lilac bush is just starting to bloom. We took turns smelling the flowers and I told her that when they bloom a bit more we can cut some and bring them into the house. Someday I will tell her the Tale of the ‘Ol Lilac Bush – or maybe I’ll just let her read this post.
Here is a pic that I snapped of the lilac bush today – going strong in its current location since 1985. Unlike that magnificent dome climber. *sniff*