I was blessed enough to live in the same place for the first 18 years of my life surrounded by tons of family. My grandparents bought a bunch of land shortly after I was born and distributed it amongst their kids. When they poured the foundation of their house, they stamped my tiny one and a half year old footprints in it.
Even though things are different now (especially after Katrina), when I close my eyes, I can envision the year 1984 when my grandfather was alive and working in his shed making crab traps. I can see myself running to my grandparents house to get candy and eat my granny’s good Cajun cooking. All of my childhood memories are wrapped up in this one place.
My grandfather has long passed, my parents, brother and I have moved away, my uncle sold his house, but my grandmother remains. She’s still spunky in spirit but not in body. She’s 80 now and her body is failing her more and more everyday. She misses us terribly and we miss her too. The family compound will never be active like it once was and she is the last piece holding it together.
I’m so glad I chose to spend part of our family vacation with her. I just don’t know how many more visits we’ll get to have. Family is precious and time waits for no one. Enjoy the family you have around you now because before you know it, time will have slipped right by and you’ll be walking around an empty family compound. The one life lesson I remember my grandmother teaching me as a child was that time flies by and the older you get, the faster it goes. I didn’t understand it at the time but it stuck with me. Now I truly get it. I’m trying my best to hang on every moment, enjoy everyday to the fullest and love those around me like crazy.