When I was small and had an imagination bigger than life, I used to peak through our fence and across our pasture at the huge house that sat perfectly on the corner of the block. I loved that house. I imagined it had millions of rooms inside. A large balcony wrapped its way around the entire house and tall bushy trees also stood guard around the yard. I always daydreamed about that house. But something I loved more than the house itself was the lady who lived there.
My friend told me the lady was once a model. I don't know if that was really true, but I believed her any ways. I figured she could have been a model because the lady was the most magnificent thing I'd ever seen. During church, I would turn around in our pew and just stare at her where she sat a few pews back. She was very tall. At least she seemed very tall when I was oh so tiny. She was slender and wore classy dresses, and often times had a colorful scarf tied neatly around her neck. Even though she was an older lady (maybe she was in her fifties or sixties, I'm not sure, when you're a kid adults are all just adults) she still wore her dark hair long, and she would wrap it all up around her head. It looked perfect. She left me in complete awe every time I saw her. I told my parents that when I got old enough, I wanted to be her maid and clean the millions of rooms inside her big, pretty house.
My parents were quite amused by this, and they even let me ride my bike to the house once. When I pulled my bike up to their driveway, I just stood and stared for several minutes, trying to work up some courage. I then walked to the burrow pit and picked a handful of dandelions to present when the door was answered. I remember knocking on the door and feeling my heart pound through my body with pure excitement. When the door was answered, I presented my bouquet of weeds and was invited inside the mysterious mansion. My jaw dropped wide open as I looked around at the high ceilings, winding staircase, Persian rugs, and the huge head of a moose that hung from the mantle. Before I left, I was given an Idaho Spud. It was my first time having an Idaho Spud, so I thought they must be some special treat that only rich people could get. I told my mom so and she let me believe it, until I saw the stacks of Idaho Spuds in the grocery store's candy aisle months later.
Last weekend, my mom called and told me the lady passed away. I felt strange. It's not like I had a real relationship with this lady (no, I never ended up becoming her maid), but I guess it was just unsettling to me for a moment that people die. Someone involved in one of my childhood memories is gone from the world, so I guess it truly is nothing but a memory now. And it makes me a little solemn, thinking that one day, everything will just be a memory. One day these college days that I complain so often about will just be a memory. The times of being a newlywed with my pal will become a memory. Things that have not even happened yet will all become fond memories. Things that once were so real and vivid will all be stories to tell and moments to reminisce about. And I guess that's just a hard thing to wrap my mind around.
Perhaps one day I'll be in the neighborhood and take a drive around the block and past that home I adored so much. Maybe I'll even leave a bouquet of dandelions on the doorstep. Heck, I'll even buy an Idaho Spud after.