In case you're unfamiliar with it, Five-Minute Friday is a writing exercise, kind of like coloring with words without worrying about staying inside the lines. We set a timer for five minutes, write in response to a one-word prompt, and then share it with others so we can encourage each other. If you have a blog, you can link your post up with Lisa-Jo and the group here.
Today's prompt is Belong.
It's a place I've passed many times but never really noticed, set back a bit from the road and surrounded by carefully landscaped beds with daylilies. Some of the apartments have little screened porches or rockers in front of them. Mom says they thought about getting you a screened porch one but were worried about your wandering off with direct access to the road.
While I know she's right, I remember sitting on your screen porch, on the white wicker furniture with its African violet cushions, watching a summer thunderstorm. I was scared of that storm, and you told me it was God's way of showing He was in charge of everything. The porch eventually became a room with walls, the furniture was painted over- khaki with new cushions- but the conversation stayed in my mind.
God's still in charge of everything, right? Because when I stand in the center of the room you now occupy, so much smaller than your old house, with many of your familiar things missing, it just isn't the same. It doesn't smell right. There are no violets in the windowsill and no kids' drawings on the refrigerator. I can't point out the place on the cabinet that burned when the meat caught fire on the stove that time, or the nail near the fireplace where you always hang up the little wooden jumping guy at Christmas time...the one I used to play with as a child, the one my children always play with now.
Except not now...because now, you're someplace else.
My son says, quietly, "This isn't Gram and Gramp's house."
He's never been more right about anything, ever.
Part of my heart wants to cry, wants to ask, "What happens to me, where do I go when the place that has always felt like home, the place I've set so many novels and stories in my mind, is no longer your place?"
But now, for now, this is where you belong, even while my barefoot memory walks the hallways with their wide-plank dark wood floors, still hearing every single creak.
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