Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Memories: The First Home

When the younger one was dying, even with her life filled with tons of decades fully rooted in a loving, embracing community in a city she wasn't born in, she wanted her older sister. They weren't on the easiest of terms or necessarily best friends. But even if nothing was left to it except her older sister holding her hand the younger sister wanted to go back home.

Years later, when the older one, in a California nursing home that looked like a country club, began to forget things like how to eat or why it was even important to eat, she would greet her brother every daily visit with the same question. When would they be going back to Henry Street? When would they be going back home? A cold water, rat-infested tenement. That was home.

He now clings to a spiderweb of little lists that are his daily memory. What doctor when. Who is coming on what day. Where did he put what he can't remember he was looking for. Yet siting on the couch uncertain of the last five minutes or the next five minutes, home becomes sharp and specific and stories about Home like those of his sisters come tumbling out.