I have been scanning and recording my mom’s old pictures. She keeps them all in a square tin can and she likes to take them out when people visit and talk about old times. Mom has dementia and her short-term memory is crap but her long-term is still pretty good, so she is living in the past. Sometimes I envy her because she is always pretty happy and just worries about what is happening right now. She does not think about what she has to do tomorrow. My dad has to do all of the remembering for the both of them. I am in charge of phone calls and appointments but other than that they are still on their own and in their own home. It is the house that my dad built before I was born. I grew up in that house which is quite a small house by today’s standards. It seems that everyone has to have a big house now. My parents somehow raise all of us in this house.
Dad is not known for his renovation innovation but more known for his duct tape and wire. I don’t think he has changed or updated anything in the house since he built it, so needless to say, it is not in the best condition. It is still home to me. I don’t know what will happen to the house when they are either not able to live there on their own anymore or when they pass on. I would like to be able to fix up the house and have someone in the family live in it.
There are so many places in this area that are attached to my heart. We take our dog for walks down the road where my grandfather had his trap line and now my cousin continues on with that tradition. I grew up in that area and remember going to the trap line before the road was put in and we had to go by boat and portage from one lake to the other. Now you can almost drive right up to the outhouse!
When I look out my living room window across the bay, I can see the island where my mother grew up. There is nothing on the island now as it is owned by a mining company. My grandfather had bought a house for $50 and moved it to the island where his family lived most of the time. Eventually the town burned down this house along with other homes near by that were not being used. I am still trying to figure out how they did that.
And everywhere I go, I see Ryan. Memories are all around me. At first this was difficult and I wanted to escape. Now it is easier and sometimes comforting. My mom showed me a picture the other day that dad had taken of her standing by a large boulder in the forest. There was a log leaning up against the rock. Mom said that on one of his outings with his grandparents, Ryan had put the log there when he was a small boy of six or seven, because he wanted to climb the rock.
The log was still there lying near the rock almost twenty years later. Ryan will never return to climb it.