“The place we used to be is still a part of me
And I’m so fortunate lady that you still need a piece of me
And I know that you’re waiting, see I’m only down town
You know I roll alone girl, I’m never with a crowd..
Take me back to the day when you made me fall
I want to go, I want to go
Make me feel like you did the very first time we ever touched
I want to go, lets just go..”
I went to stay at my great-grandmothers place these holidays, and while she passed away when I was five and the house has been renovated since, it still has her feel and her essence. You can’t escape it. Maybe it comes from knowing her, knowing what kind of woman she was and how caring and selfless she was. But how can you really know what kind of person someone is when you’re five? I knew she was loving and kind, and thats all I needed.
One of the first things we did was walk around and check everything out, see what we remembered and what was new. Touch and prod and feel and try on. Her mink coat was gone, a tribute to her classic style. She was pearls and 1940’s curls, designer chic for dinner and nautical colors as she relaxed around the house. We stared at a glamour pic of her from her youth, she must have been early twenties. “You look like her, ” my sister said. And I was surprised to find I agreed with her. We have dark hair and the same nose. I felt like family for once.
One thing really struck a chord with me as I sat down in her old torn recliner and looked at the room from a perspective she must have, day in and out, for decades. I could see the tv in front of me, to the left was the window with a view to the garden of the front yard, and to the right was a portrait of her husband who died a long time before she did. She must have looked into his eyes everyday and missed him.
“Sure as all that breathe will die
And showers fall from April skies
A heart thats pure won’t be denied
The kind of loving that will rock you
The kind of loving that will keep you
Hold you for a lifetime
Even in the hard times, even when its going down..
You’re gonna find someone’s riding with you
You don’t have to be alone, you just have to hold on
You’re gonna find true love..”
What happened to the love from back then? The one that lasted forever, long after your husband has gone. The one that left you believing you’d be with him one day soon, that he was waiting for you.. These days it seems like marriage lasts 7 years, and love lasts even less. How is it that our grandparents marriages last forever, but everyone else is divorcing? Theres some element they have, that we don’t. What is it?
Maybe its because we don’t truly appreciate the other when they are with us, what they do for us, or that it takes effort every single day to make things work. Maybe its because we’re so trained by consumerism to never be satisfied, to always want more or be looking for something better, an upgrade.. Why do people leave each other, when others can make it work forever? We raise our kids in the era of divorce, it feels like every kid has gone or will go through it. And with that kind of backdrop, how can we expect them to believe in a love that lasts more than a few years? Its no wonder everyone is always breaking up.
But when I sat in her chair it wasn’t hard for me to imagine getting a portrait of my own husband, and of days spent there warmed by the suns rays and our own affections. I hadn’t even considered marriage before that, aside from maybe eloping in Las Vegas or something equally as vague. I’d definitely never thought about the part after. But now its a big question in the back of my mind.. What has happened to everlasting love?
“When I think about it
I know that I was never there
Or even cared
The more I think about it
The less that I was able to share
I try to reach you I
Can almost feel you, you’re nearly here
And then you disappear..”