Karin, in the 1980’s as a teenager, in my childhood home, is holding two of my great nephews, Joe and Nate Herne, who lived there at the time. Nate, on the right, occupied this house with his family until recently.
I grew up in this house which my great grandparents purchased in 1914 — one hundred years ago this year! Ownership of the house has never left the family since, though unrelated families have lived in the house a few short years. For the past couple of years until September 2014, Nate, pictured above, and his family, including my great great niece, lived there. Since my great great grandfather lived his final months in this house with his son, a total of eight generations called this house home!
My great grandmother died in this house on Christmas Day and I was born 3 days later. My grandmother inherited the house and all of its furnishings. She held the mortgage for my parents, and my family moved in when I was a few months old. I grew up among many of my great grandparents belongings — dishes, some furniture, the house, and her insulin bottles! I found the tiny little bottles with rubber stoppers all around the house. They were perfect milk bottles for my play kitchen. Photos of my great grandparents were displayed in the living room as well as their former home in a bubble glass frame, my mother’s birthplace in 1912, . She cherished her grandparents and spoke of them often, telling me stories which I wish I could remember more clearly. She also dreamed of them and related her dreams.
I too dream of my deceased loved ones. It is the brain recalling happy times of yore. I find it comforting to recall and relate stories of my relatives who have passed — especially of Karin. She comes up in conversation daily. She is still a part of my fiber and always will be. I am so grateful my son-in-law’s new wife (whom I call my daughter-in-law) is tolerant of my stories of Karin. She lost her mother to cancer, so we share that grief.
It is impossible to remain connected with all my friends throughout the years, but I still have contact with at least one friend from each of the places we have lived, and we moved a lot! I have lived in Richburg, NY, Rochester, NY, Syracuse, NY, Toronto, ON, Gerry, NY, St. Louis, MO, Mississauga, ON, San Diego, CA, Naperville, IL, Burlington, ON, and now Fort Worth, TX.
Karin was a connector, like me. Karin kept up her relationships over the miles and the passage of time. She introduced me to Facebook when it was new. Today, on her 41st birthday, I think of her friends with whom I have reconnected or met for the first time since her death. Precious friends!!! And they have not forgotten her. I know at least a couple of them will be wearing pink today!
David Tomas Martinez wrote, grief is “a coal in the stocking of my stomach; there is no hope it can be pressed into a diamond.” Grief may not be pressed into a diamond, but the memories of the one lost certainly are!