Saturday, May 12, 2007

Burned Memories

I drove to Wellpinit yesterday afternoon and saw a column of smoke rising behind the clinic. Turns out the old quadplex senior housing was destroyed in a controlled burn.

Before going home, I stopped to see the fire; the walls were completely gone, and only a few small flames and smoldering ashes remained.

The ruins of that old house brought back a poignant memory. The first time I returned to Wellpinit after my parents divorce, I was about 8 years old. My yaya Messie lived in one of those houses and my father brought me there before anywhere else. I opened the screen door and saw my yaya standing in the kitchen with her back toward me. She had long black hair mixed with gray that she kept in a loose pony tail down her back.

I didn't say anything, but the sound of the screen door slamming shut made her turn and look. When she saw me standing in her kitchen, she pulled one hand to her mouth and drew in a quick breath. Then she dropped her work and threw her arms around me in a tight embrace. I could feel her tears dripping onto my face as she rocked me back and forth like a baby. Through her sobs she repeated one simple word: "Yaaaaaya, yaaaaaya, yaaaaaya..." (grandson, grandson, grandson...)

As I watch the flames burning the last remains of her house, I remember that beautiful day and feel lucky to have been loved by my yaya.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails