The story of our lives are written by those who have come before, helping to etch our characters into the fabrics of time. All too swiftly, our brains turn to seasons of independence and freedom from the shackles we consider our childhoods to be; anticipating the growth and sproutings into mature adults.
Yet, our stories still remain unwritten by the time we flutter, awkwardly, away from those tiny nests we consider 'home'. We traipse the Earth, desperately trying to carve our niches into the stone faces of the world; always wondering back to simpler times... Seems only eons ago, really. There's no place like home.
Returning for meager gatherings of those scattered souls we once knew as safe-haven cocoons of oppressive love, nostalgia creeps into the shadows of the brain. Fleeting coincidences of Grandma's perfume reminds us that, once, we escorted her back and forth to Church... such a bother for teenagers... And, where is she, now? Ah, yes! The child-sized shoebox urn over on the shelf; her smiling face alights the front by way of an old photograph.
I miss her "dream toast" and "mushroom chicken" lunches.
Listening to a seldom-recited dinner prayer being uttered by my aging agnostic father, my heart suddenly wrenches around in my chest. My teary eyes glance over to my son, and realizations of mortality slam into my head: will my son care enough to paste a photo of me on anything, after I die? Will my great-grandchildren ever forget my physical interactions, but, remember a fleeting coincidental odor indicative of 'home'?
My parents' etched themselves into the fabric of my life; I am a reflection of my 'home'. Alas! They are not too far from the next world. I cannot help myself - I, truly, am a "softie". My dad looks over at me. Briefly, his serious gaze bores into my soul, acknowledging the bittersweet truths of mortality. Quickly, he *tsks* and cracks a terrible joke that we've all heard many, many, MANY times before... the entire family laughs, like, we've never heard it.
"Toss me a croissant," he bellows. "And, for Christ's sake - stop getting all sappy!"
Happy Thanksgiving, people.