Keep the Change…

I hate change. It makes me uneasy. This last week has been one where I feel as though I’ve been pulled in twenty different directions, but that’s just life coming at you.

Amidst all of the hustle of work, grad school, second jobs, kids, Tommy, I had to carve out time to take one last walk through the family homestead that is passing to new owners on Monday. It’s a house, a thing, I know that. But it was also a home. It was the material matriarch of the Butler family and the last tangible grasp of generations past. When I walked through the empty downstairs, I heard Ruth everywhere.

Before I left my grandmother’s house, I stood at the fence to chat with her neighbor of 37 years. I was so happy to see both him and his wife. Sandwiched in the conversation, he quietly told me I hadn’t changed a bit. “It’s every day for you, isn’t it? I know,” he said. That’s all he had to say. He has no idea how grateful I was to hear those words. He sees me. I feel dismissed most days. I haven’t seen him in years and he sees me. Thank you for that. After we finished our conversation about nothing over the fence, like old neighbors do, I had to leave. It was too much.

Leaving 195 for the last time I thought about all of the times I left that winding driveway in Ruth’s big ’76 Buick on my way home to my parents. Her neighbor was so wrong. I’ve changed a ton. My biggest changes have come in the last seven, soon to be eight years (Tommy’s turning the big 0-8 in November!). I’m grateful for everything I took and gave to 195, but you can keep the change.

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