Earlier this year my grandpa's health began to decline and he was forced to move into an assisted living facility. A few months later, my mom and I spent an afternoon at his house going through what belongings he wasn't able to take with him. Most of my family had already been and had picked through what was sentimental to them, taking photos, pieces of furniture, and things that had belonged to my grandma. Memories from a different generation.

There wasn't much left when I finally had my turn but, I wasn't looking for much.

I collected a few things. Things that had been skipped over. Meant for me, I think. A blanket my grandma had knit when my mom was little, a map of the US my grandpa had hanging in his office, a vintage travel outlet converter kit which, I like to think they used on all their international adventures. My very best find though, was a travel journal of sorts. A photo album stored away on a shelf in the garage of a trip to Europe my grandparents took in May of 1978. In it, my grandma had taped their boarding passes and passport photos, tour itinerary, seven pages of notes typed from a typewriter, and photos of their time in England, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.


I didn't know they had been, and I was going at the end of the year. I had an idea:

I wanted to take this just for fun, but it ended up being really comforting to stand in a place I knew they had also both stood. Where my grandma had stood. Her feet had touched this very same sidewalk.

She has been gone for almost twelve years and a lot has changed since then. Everyone in my family has moved into different houses. Places where there are no memories of her. There can't be, she has never been inside any of them. But here I was, 6,000 miles away from home, holding this picture up, and once again being in a place where there are memories of her. 

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