BY LAURA COSENTINO
You’re five years old swinging on the metal play set on the part of the yard that is more dirt than grass from all the years you and your brothers kicked it as you swung higher and higher. Your Grandfather is sitting in a white lawn chair, just beside the doorway, watching you and smiling every time you yell to talk to him from across the way.
Fast forward and you’re 10, playing with lobsters in the kiddie pool. Your family will eat them for dinner but your parents know how you love to name them, so you have a few hours to play with your new friends.
You’re 14 now, helping your cancer riddled Grandmother find something to be happy about. No one says her illness, and the two of you have a silent agreement that you are her favorite. She asks you for gelato and talks about all the things you could do when you grow up. She says she’s proud of you for all you are already. When it comes time for college she says she’ll gladly help you with your dreams.
Today is here and years passed all those memories. You’re sitting in your car, parked in the same spot that swing set used to be. Except now, there is no play set, kiddie pool, or family in sight. You stare at the spot where your Grandfather used to sit, and there is longer that wonderful Italian man with a big heart and funny laugh like you remember. There is no child with blank wonder, making mud pies for their Mom; there are no siblings playing in their matching outfits. Just you, arriving from a college your Grandmother never got to help you get to, to a home you no longer feel at home in.