Thursday, February 25, 2010

Can We Go?

“Can we go, too?” Gabby asked.

“We want to see where you lived,” adds Sydney.

Oh, how I want my granddaughters to experience Neff Road. Gabby has never been there, and Syd was just a toddler when the farm sold. “I want to take you some day,” I replied.

When will Sydney be too old to want a trip with her Grandma? When will the adventure of visiting farm country still have its lure? From the bottom of my heart, I want to take the girls ‘home’.

Going back to Neff Road has been difficult for the Loxley girls and their children. Our deep love of the farm, our other parent, still calls us back, but we cannot go back to what we left behind. A big metal barn stands where the old barn once stood. The house has been changed. A new door added to the basement has an entrance cutting through the hill. It is difficult to look for memories in a different place where different people live. It is no longer our home, but our memories long for it to be ours once more.

My sisters do not want to go back any more. The changes have been hard on us all. Why revisit the pain of missing? Mom and Dad are gone, my cousin, Gene, is gone. The neighbors we love are older and in the Brethren Home. Changes take place when you live far away. We still see Neff Road as it was in our growing up years. Now it only hurts to return.

I am pulled back again and again needing to see the old neighbors who were as much the farm as were my parents. My friend, Brenda, is always home to me. Neff Road and all the homes of my youth, the family homes, are still there allowing me a glimpse of my roots.

“When you come back, I will walk down Neff Road with you,” writes my friend and Neff Road neighbor, Janet. Such a lovely offering warms my heart and means the world to me.

Hopefully, I can take my girls back to Neff Road again. My children find it too painful to return. The missing of the farm is not just for one generation. I will take the girls back the lane. I am not looking forward to the emotional journey. My grandchildren are the keepers of our history, our roots. I want them to walk the land that raised their grandma, to see the barn where their mother played, to walk to the bridge that holds a lifetime of memories and to know some of the people who walked along with me in my life.

I love you Neff Road. Two small girls look forward to embracing you as well. I pray it is soon.

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