My Father passed away in Arizona recently. I had a unique experience while I was there before he died. I was in my small hometown of Glendale, AZ. As I listened to Miranda Lambert’s song of “The House that Built Me,” I thought about my experience and realized it was unlike Miranda Lambert’s song. I had no idea what I would see. My Grandmother had five acres with rental properties across the street from the elementary school I went to until I was in the beginning of the sixth grade. We later moved to Santa Ana, CA in the sixth grade. We lived in one of those rental houses that my Grandmother had on her property along with others in the family from time to time. Both my Mom and I went to the same school. It was later named Melvin E. Sine Elementary after the principle both my Mom and I had when we went to Unit IV Elementary School.
“Aching familiar in a way that made me wish I was still eight. Eight was before death or divorce or heartbreak. Eight was just eight. Hot dogs and peanut butter, mosquito bites and splinters, bikes and boogie boards. Tangled hair, sunburned shoulders, Judy Blume, in bed by nine thirty.” ― Jenny Han, It’s Not Summer Without You
My husband and son had come down to coordinate and do the funeral service for my Dad. One of my cousins took us on a ride through the town. I asked her if she would do me a favor and show my family where I lived those early years. I was not prepared to see what was left of the property that my Grandmother said would always tell all of us that when she died the property would be sold and divided among her seven children. It did not happen that way. Instead we had a family saga that really went bad with one sibling that got very greedy and had the will changed to inherit all of the property. I am sure my Nana rolled in her grave over that one. Unfortunately, it is very sad that the remaining family does not really talk to her anymore or her children.
It is sad that in spite of it all the property was sold and I was not prepared what I saw. All of the big trees on the property were gone, so were all of the houses and rental properties. All that was left was a piece of property with weeds growing on it with a chain link fence that was boundary on the entire property. There used to be a canal in the front of the property. All of the canals are gone. I could not believe how desolate and sad that piece of land looked. I thought to myself what a shame with all of the drama and strife in the family and to see it like that, empty and sad. The blessing of my Grandmother was gone. It was all gone…So very sad. We had some very happy and yet challenging days on that property. I hated to see my Mom and her siblings go through what my Grandmother never wanted to happen when she died. In spite of what some of our relatives experienced, nothing is worth sacrificing your relationships with your family. I know that life happens and it is so sad when some people choose greed instead of family…..
I realized that day that I was there and all of those memories did really happen once upon a time….My memories of my beloved Grandmother will go everywhere I go. They will always be with me. It was interesting that at my Grandmother’s Funeral I was the only one of her 37 grandchildren that paid her a tribute on “The Lessons my Nana Taught Me.” I am a MILLIONAIRE because I got the very best of my Grandmother and they have made me who I am today. My memories are priceless and so was my history. I am so very Grateful in spite of it all….