Monday, August 25, 2014

Things Always Change ~ (journal entry June 25th, 2006)

Things always change.  It just read a book, a childhood book that was my sisters when she was little -- "Johnny Lion."  I opened the book and saw her name written in it and dated 1977 -- it was in my mothers handwriting.  Even my mothers handwriting has changed over the years.  I can see how she looked back then when I see that handwriting now.  It was so complicated before -- the way she wrote "Miller," the M was almost impossible to duplicate when I used to try and forge her signature on school notes -- impossible without countless tries and so much time devoted to perfecting it, I never did, I could never perfect her signature, could never fill it in.  Now her handwriting is so much simpler--less complicated.  Maybe she got tired over the years -- maybe some things became not so important anymore, maybe our handwriting evolves with us and as we change -- it changes--our signatures--the way we write our thoughts, fill out our forms, write our notes.

When I saw my sisters name in that book I could see her as she was back then-- there is a distinct photograph that comes to mind.  She has long hair and half pig tails--she's wearing a turtle neck and a red, black and some other color I cannot recall stripped vest, she's smiling.  I don't remember her that well back then--I was too little--but I know that picture, it's etched in my mind--in my heart where all those was and used to be, and back then things live in their own private heaven.

I smelled the book--I remember that smell so well--it's almost impossible to describe it--it smells like the attic where we all used to play--like rainy days, like old clothes, wax, paper, beauty.

It never stays the same. Where have those children gone.  What happened to the days when me and my brother would go hot dogging down the ski slope fearlessly, laughing, chanting, "hot hot doggin." What happened to the huge van we went on vacation in together with the jars of peanuts, fruit and cheese, banquet fried chicken, Carly Simon, Lionel Ritchie, Laura Branegan tapes.  What happened to the big white house--the slip n' slide and grandma coming over in the summer.  The side porch where we played and listened to Neil Diamond records and watched the afternoon thunderstorms roll in.  The thunder didn't bother me at those times because we were all together, we were all comfortable and safe--I liked it as a child, as an adult I find I loved it.

The feeling, the sound and the smell of running around the house closing all the windows when it started raining unexpectedly in the evening--everyone closing the windows--the sound of the rain--the smell of it--the lights in the house--the occasional bloodcurdling scream if an especially loud clap of thunder happened to catch one of us, my sister in particular, closing a window or putting away toys alone--at which one time my poor brother, so frightened putting away bikes and big wheels said he saw Jesus in the sky.

I know that people can read this and more than likely get a picture in their mind--but only me, my mother, my father--my brother and my sisters can smell the smells, feel the feelings, truly know--and wonder--where did it all go?  But it is forever, even beyond death linked in our hearts--it binds us--it loves us--maybe it is heaven and we will go there again someday.

My sisters and my brother have children--they will carry on and add to all of this--their children will have their own smells, books, feelings--a time where they themselves grow up and ask--where did it all go.

The greatest comfort is to finally realize this is not unique to me.  Maybe its not that everything has changed--something has maybe gone terribly wrong--everything is so confusing and upside down and different--this is the human condition.  I am convinced that each human goes through this as they carry on in life--some just simply cope with it differently than others--some think there is something wrong when in fact everything is perfectly normal because its supposed to be this way for everyone.

Still I will carry on and forever have burned in my heart these images--of my sisters--my brother, my parents, the love, the greatness of it all--and me--forever wearing my "I Don't Want To Grow Up" purple Toys R' Us sweatshirt on the inside.

~J.A. Miller