I went back to that house with hopes of catching one last glance of what made my youth so happy. I went back with hope of seeing you in the tick-tock of the grandfather clock that hung above the kitchen booth and in the well placed, tiny crystal figures on the coffee table.
Perhaps I would still be able to catch the scent of your perfume or see something that would remind me of your love. Maybe in looking at the small white and grey marble table where we played cards for hours would somehow comfort my heart from missing you. I ate so many meals sitting next to you at that table. Not only did you nourish my body, but your words healed my soul.
I knew you had been gone for years, but subconsciously I thought maybe I would somehow feel better if I stepped back into my past. I thought that maybe I could make a few things right with the current tenant. I thought that maybe some old wounds could be mended.
What was I thinking? That is not what I found at all. The grandfather clock had stopped its ticking and tocking and the crystal figures were long gone. To where, I do not know. The marble table was now covered with cheap brown stick-on linoleum. The smell of thick smoke permeated the air and the coldness of the current tenant lingered despite the small talk.
What was I thinking? Did I think that I could fix the past with words of love and waving a figurative white flag of peace? This deck of cards was always stacked against me no matter how many times I tried before. Did I think the current tenant would somehow change her mind about me and show love that was obviously not there? Did I think that my presence would somehow change everything and I would get my happy ending? What a fool I was.
What was I thinking? I was holding on to the last glimmer of hope that things could be resolved. I surmised that I needed that tenants’ approval and validation that I mattered to her after all.
But I was wrong. I do not need her approval or her love, because I am created by a loving God who already loved me and still loves me now. He also gave me a grandmother that loved me and taught me self-worth.
My grandmother may not be in that house any more, but her spirit still resides in my memory. Even though I can not see her with my eyes, or sit at that table with her, I can still feel her when I feel sad. I can still think about all of the memories she created for me.
So with that, I walked out the door and said one more ” I love you” with no response, but in the silence I knew I had still done the right thing by coming.
Here’s what I am thinking now: I will try to stop doubting my worth based on her actions, and just forgive. I have no power to change the past. I have no power to change the other person, but I do have the power to forgive and move on.