Today, on the way home, after taking the same route almost 5 days a week for 8 years in a row, I was compelled to make the right off of Edmondson Avenue onto Rosedale Street followed by a right on Arunah Avenue. 50 years ago to this day, my grandparents, Benjamin and Frances Graham walked out of the door at 3032 Arunah Avenue and loaded up their car with their three daughters and a trailer in tow. What would that doorway look like now? How extraordinary would it be today for a family in this block to have a 17’ trailer parked in the garage behind the house? As I pulled up I was lucky to find an empty space on the street in front of the house to pull into. I had already planned on taking a simple glance and perhaps a picture. There was a neighbor in the door in 3030 and a few people on the porch a few more houses up. I didn’t want to seem like the random person skulking and looking; I took one quick picture and left. I couldn’t believe how much things had changed. It has been a very long time since I had driven up that road, but I was flooded with wonderful memories of a childhood spent running up and down that same sidewalk.
I promised myself two things this evening after I took that trip down memory lane. First, I was going to add a new entry on the blog in honor of this anniversary. Second, the entry was going to be brief. The timing of just now settling in at my parent’s after a month of blood, sweat and real tears of moving and the 50th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the Grahams collided like two atoms. Perhaps it was cosmically on purpose to remind me of the reason why I made the move out of my own apartment and into my parent’s home. There were plenty of times where I lost sight about why I was torturing myself with carload after carload of material things that I had accumulated over the years that my focus had changed. The move itself had completely consumed me and I was so preoccupied and had to put working on the documentary on pause. I have a lot of apologies, catching up, and project work on my plate now.
This evening after checking off the last 3 things on my moving transition list: goodwill donation, storage unit drop off and grocery store, I called my grandparents. My grandmother answered the phone. It seemed like ages since I had talked to her; she sounded bright and clear. Next my grandfather got on the phone. I asked them if they realized that it had been 50 years since their fist trip today. They were not aware of the significance of the day. I told them about my drive to their old home and how different the place looked. We talked about that first trip and how inexperienced they were and how they figured it out and kept going further than they planned or imagined. Within those few minutes, I knew exactly why I made this decision. I did it for them. I did it for us. I did it for all the dreamers, the travelers, the wanderers and for the people who aren’t as courageous and brave as my grandparents or haven’t had the opportunity, so that they may have the chance to see what is outside of their block no matter where they live, or what they do, or what color they are. Let’s all take that chance and go further than we imagined.