We drove thru Mississippi several times each year when I was growing up. At Memphis the terrain looked different. My mother was from Tupelo. My aunt lived in Jackson. I loved the beautiful pine trees and the hanging moss trees that dotted the low flat roadways. Tobacco and corn gave way to cotton and sorghum. I always wondered about Billie Joe McCalister as I crossed the Tallahatchie River. The visits with my cousins were fun and a little exotic to a girl from such a small town in Kentucky. I memorized the drive.
Cousin and I saw the movie "Grease" four times one summer until Uncle found out and put a stop to it!! We delivered the Clairon Ledger early in the morning wearing shorts and t-shirts and rollers in our hair. We rode bikes to the pool and ice cream shop and sometimes to Kroger to buy shrimp off a truck that brought it fresh from the gulf each day.
The last time that I made that trip was twenty-seven years ago to be a bridesmaid in my cousins wedding. The church was a beautiful stone building right across the street from the state capitol building in Jackson.
Big Sister is going to grad school. She will be a doctoral student at Louisiana Tech University. The first trip we made, we went thru Arkansas. It was exhausting. The second trip, we drove thru Jackson and went west thru Vicksburg on past Monroe to Ruston. Memories began to flood back into my mind.
My daughter would travel these same roads that me and my mother did. She was going as far away from home that the Dad and I did just twenty-nine years ago. The past was meeting the future. Wonder how it's all connected? Does it mean anything?
We moved Big Sister into her apartment. She hung a mirror on the wall by the front door. One last glance before heading out to be sure the hair is just right before going out. But as I caught a glance of myself taking one last load up her stairs I didn't see myself in that mirror. I saw an older woman that looked an awful lot like my mother.
Time marches on. Time marches on. Trying to live in this moment. Even though my mind is caught up in the past. In April, all three kids were at home. We asked the son to leave a month ago. He is where he needs to be to decide the kind of life that he wishes to live. Big Sister is making her way far away. Little sister begins school one week from today.
Our full crazy house will be quiet again. I am sad and I am glad. Not sure how to think or feel but going to keep praying.