I set the alarm for 5:00 a.m.
We have to be somewhere by noon that is about 300 miles away. This means that we are taking coffee in a Thermos as if we were Fred and Ethel going on a trip to Indiana, except we’re going to Michigan, but only overnight to see people living and dead.
While my husband is at meetings, I am going to my hometown, which was really my mother’s hometown but I lived there in my very young formative years. It is a place so dear to me that the streets feel like fingerprints. I visit each corner of my 8-year old recollection and recount the story in my head that matches.
This is where my picture was taken while I was wearing the dress with tulips along the hem.
This is the tree where I sat with my brother while he shined his shoes for Boy Scouts.
This is the street where my sister marched in the 4th of July parade as part of Krystal Kate’s Dance Studio.
This is where the old man gave me rhubarb to take to my mother.
This is the breezeway where my first, very blue two-wheel bike, was parked as a surprise for my birthday.
After visiting the historical sites, I’ll go to my parents’ graves. My job there is to wipe off the moss that accumulated since last year and talk to them a bit. Because I am going alone this year, I may lay down on the grass. My parents are buried on a hill with many trees and the grass there is always unnaturally soft, like baby’s hair. I don’t know why.
There is more but it is late. 5:00 a.m. will come fast.