Initials on the Wall

All seven of us standing in the basement, smelling the familiar smells of dust and forgotten toys. We walked around touching each thing we came across and unlocking all of the memories.

“How many games of basketball do you think we played with this old toy hoop?” “Remember all the ping pong games we played down here?” “Oh! We used this little ball with the bell inside to make the noise for the seance we put on that scared you so much, Val.” “The xylophone!” “The turtle!” “The rabbit! That thing always scared me.” “ME TOO!”

We located our tools: a screwdriver and a hammer. We chose our wall: The wall with the basketball hoop, closest to where the stash of toys always lay. And one by one, we chiseled our initials into the wall. Into our basement.

Our parents built that house for our Grandma. But the basement was our domain. It was where we fought, where we played, where we made the Rockwellian memories of family holidays spent together rough-housing as cousins. It was where we were together.

Miles, and circumstances, and personality differences may separate us… But our initials will always testify to the fact that we love one another. As we finished we looked around at one another and for one instant knew that in this loss, and in this life, we were in it together.

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4 thoughts on “Initials on the Wall

  1. Val,
    I cried, trying to read this to Gene. You kids did something really special! In my eyes and heart, all of you will always be “kids.”

    I heard that Inga called Lang. He was glad, even though he was in the middle of some sort of crisis.

    Aunt/Mom Dar

  2. Brings back memories for me, too. Dh has places like that he can visit. I do not. My childhood haunts are all long sold to other families and other children.

    I’m so glad you got to go home, Val.

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