Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Number Seven

Number seven. Part of an address I've known almost my whole life. It's not my house but it was the home of my Grandma--Mama as we called her, and of Grampie, who is still with us but not in this place. I take one last walk through the nearly empty rooms before the new owners dwell here. The scent of hand lotion from Avon, Vick's menthol rub, and pumpkin pie linger in my memory. I slide my hand along the french door and remember peeking through at night to catch a glimpse of the movie they were watching while I was supposed to be sleeping. Sleep-overs here as a child were my favourite treat.
I gaze out the tiny bedroom window, adorned with peach-coloured, hand-made curtains and take in the view of this busy, little street where neighbours still stop and talk. I scan the walls that once were cluttered with photos, anniversary plates, scripture plaques, shelved trinkets and paintings. I tip-toe down the rickety steps that lead to the cellar and notice the woodpile where I once gathered pieces for them as a little girl. The "back room" echoes the sound of a white-haired woman in her house dress rocking and calling humorously, "Who's that coming in my house?" Grampie is beside her and he asks repeatedly, "Who is it, Reta?" and when he sees me, exclaims, "C'mere! Give me a kiss 'till payday!" and then to Mama, "Give her a cookie, Dear."

A stroll around the backyard, a lingering under the front bushes to witness the lily of the valley beginning to come up (her treasures) and then, the SOLD sign boldly confronts me there by the birch. None of it seems right and yet, it had to happen some time. I just never prepared myself for when.

Oh, Mama, are you skipping along your streets of gold? Are you relishing in your many rooms? Are you sitting at the feet of your Master, finally receiving the answers to the myriad of questions you had about love and people and Jesus? I can't wait to see you there! Oh, number seven! His perfect number. You're with the One who numbered the stars!

Oh, frail man, my precious Grampie, one day you'll join her-- leave us too. Can we keep you just a little while longer? I'll understand though, when you slip away to that home where you have no more confusion, where all things are clear and your stories of drawing so many people to the Saviour are a reality for you. Until then, I'll hold you and remember her too. And as I pass by number seven, I'll thank Him for the years I've had in that perfect place.


Annie said...

Oh nellie....I'm sitting here crying, the tears falling down my cheeks. What a beautiful piece you have written....

Holly said...

Speaking of tears rolling down the cheeks. I had to wait until I knew I could cry before I read it.

I'll miss number 7 too... but mostly the one who was in it.