Then Grandma and Grandpa went on a trip to Ohio. And one morning, I heard Mom crying on the telephone. "Who died?" I thought in a mildly sarcastic way. (My mom is known for her emotions. I've inherited this trait.) And it turned out I was right. And I cried. A lot. A lot, a lot.
But we moved on as is the way of life. We had the funeral. We talked about how my cousins, the oldest of whom was 1 1/2, would never really remember Grandpa Arno. 5 years later, Grandma met a wonderful man who became part of our family. And now 19 years ago seems like an eternity.
Last week, I visited my great-uncle and great-aunt up in northern Ohio. While one of my dear second cousins is their grandchild, I'd never visited, but time and circumstance made this trip just right. My great-uncle walked me up to the guest room showing me the Children's Hideaway and down the hallway. Suddenly it hit me. This is where my grandpa died. I don't know for sure. I definitely didn't ask though the general topic came up during the evening I spent with them. But I sat in bed, texting Mike, and gently probing my feelings.
When I heard the story of my grandpa's death, I had pictured it in their house in St. Louis. The only setting I really had for them. But there's more. My parents are in the process of moving back to St. Louis, staying with my grandma in a section of the house that didn't exist in 1992. And while I am generally considered an adult, I find this transition distinctly unsettling. My parents aren't in the spot where I expect them to be. And seeing my great-uncle and -aunt's house, I realize things often aren't what I expect them to be.
I don't know what will come out of this, but part of my history has changed.