Monday, November 22, 2010

When I was a Girl...

Almost every summer I would come to this house and spend time with my grandparents.

I remember walking up those narrow stairs and the aroma of garlic hitting you in the face the moment you stepped in the door. I used to think this 3 bedroom apartment was so big, and "my room" (the one with my birth certificate hanging on the wall) was one of my favorite things.

I remember my grandfather, Poppy, walking to the garden and picking tomatoes as I skipped behind him thinking he was my most favorite person in the whole wide world! The smell of fresh tomatoes and basil was incredible. Even now, the smell is so unforgettable that when I catch a scent, it immediately brings me back to that time.

I remember waking up in the morning to the smell of sizzling bacon and Poppy standing over the stove in his favorite uniform, a white undershirt and his gold cross proudly across his neck, waiting for me to open the door and say "hey baby! You want some juice? Have some juice!"

There was the bright red patio with the gravel driveway and the mysterious shed in back, that was my person playground. There was tupperware and TV stands and cheerios hidden beneath the china cabinet.

Back then, I thought everyone within a 15 mile radius was my aunt and uncle and I thought chicken cutlets was the healthiest meal there was. I thought Carvel was the only type of ice cream they made and I thought pastrami sandwiches and pizza should only be eaten up here.

Now, however, coming back things have changed...and it makes me look back and realize how much I miss those times.

Poppy is no longer here to take me out back for tomatoes, the aroma of garlic has slowly disappeared, and those narrow stairs and small apartment seem like a distant memory.

My room, which I slept in last night, has the same mattress and my birth certificate has been replaced by a picture of an angel. Pictures on the wall that once displayed the 3 grandchildren have now been replaced by the 5 grandchildren and my son, her only great-grandchild.

It still feels like home up here, but it's different.

Typing on my IPad with my wireless keyboard at my grandmother's kitchen table, I realize things have truly changed, and I don't know if I am ready to let go of the way things were.

Maybe in my old age or because I have become a mother, I have become sentimental over those times.

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