On Saturday morning bright and early, I will pack up Madeline, Noah and myself. We'll head to Gram's. I'll put her stuff in the back of her Subaru along with the stuff that I packed for the kids and myself. Only a few minutes after that we'll be pulling out of her driveway. If all goes well, it won't be quite 7:30 AM at this point. Destination: Rock Creek Lake West Virginia. A small, private mountain club just outside of Fairmont West Virginia which is about an hour outside of Morgantown.
The Lake, as it's called by our family, is a place I love beyond anything I'm able to communicate. It's a place as well as a feeling. It's spending time with family as well as just having time to spend. It's memories that are three feet thick as soon as you enter the county. It's taking my kids, with me, to start new memories.
I don't know if it can be said that I grew up there. But I grew up spending many summer holidays, long weekends, and trips with my grandparents there. And I think about all kinds of things fondly about those trips. The times spent with my grandparents as well as my great aunt and uncle. Time incredibly precious.
The memories I have there as a child, the memories that I'm sharing with my children. It's the stuff of movies almost. The past several years, the dynamic has shifted and the memories being made have a different tone. Now I take Gram down. I drive her car with her in the passenger seat and my kids in the back. Now we stop at rest stops on her demand, not my bored kid demand from above the driver's seat in their RV.
The tones are different now. The responsibility has shifted. It's up to me to make sure Gram has a good time. It's up to me to make sure she feel safe while we're driving. It's up to me to make sure that she can find a spot in the house or on the front porch to just sit and relax while I run and get her the things she needs. It's up to me to make sure she can maneuver the steep hill in the cemetery up which we must walk to reach my grandfather's grave. It's up to me to make sure she has a strong arm to hold on to as we walk back down after she has cried quietly and quickly and I have kissed his head stone and made sure the kids jumped on his grave (when Gram's not looking of course) and giggled loud enough for him to hear from wherever he may be listening.
It's up to me now. I couldn't be more honored to take it all on. I couldn't be more happy that I get this time with my grandmother. I couldn't look more forward to the memories that are started and made and continued.