I realized tonight that I’m a pretty sentimental person. Not the kind of sentimental that will land me on the next episode of Hoarders because I collect anything and everything that has any sort of significance…more like the kind of sentimental that makes me value lasting memories when I am reminded of someone. Up until today, I had an obvious daily reminder of my grandparents…it was a mountain scene that occupied one of the walls in my living room. In a lot of ways it is what made this house a home for me.
Anyone who has ever visited my house has had the privilege of seeing ‘the mural’ on the wall that I’m referring to. In fact, for as long as I have been coming to this house I have seen it every time I’ve walked in the front door and looked over my shoulder. The mural itself is older than most, if not all, of the grandkids in the family.
Some of my favorite memories of spending time with my grandparents were created in front of the mural. During Sunday visits we would sit on the couches in the living room while grandpa made chocolate shakes in the kitchen. As we each waited patiently for our own cup we would sit and talk about what was happening in each of our lives.
I was reluctant to remove it because I genuinely loved having it here but what surprised me more than anything is just how much it affected me once it was gone. After I had finished I found myself sitting in front of the white wall where the mural used to be and staring at it as if it were an abstract piece of art. However, in this case, it was not the blank canvas (wall) that was the art…it was absence of what was once there that held my attention for so long.
One of my favorite quotes is by Rose Kennedy, she said:
“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
As I pulled down the mural piece by piece I reminisced about the time I spent with my grandparents and it was great to have the ‘jabs of red hot memory’ come back. Among the memories that came to mind were the times I miss the most…the lunch-time talks around the kitchen table and the hugs each time I arrived and left when my grandmother would stand on a stair and wait with open arms for a hug and then smile each time she got one and tell us how much she loved us before sending us on our way. My grandparents and the mural may be gone but they have both left lasting memories that I will forever be grateful for.