I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Power of Place

My family recently had a small unplanned mini-family reunion. A couple of relatives from out of town (one was from out of country) decided to visit at the same time. I went to the airport to pick up one of those relatives and as I sat down to wait for her to walk up the ramp from her gate, I was struck by the number of people who were either hugging somebody good-bye or hugging somebody after not seeing him or her for a long time.

That one little area I was seated in must see hundreds of such emotional moments on a daily basis because loved ones are separated by many miles. And the process is repeated in airports throughout the world every single day.

In between all the hugs, I glanced over at the food court and remembered some of my own bittersweet moments—one of which included the last meal I ever ate with my dad before he died in 2000. We each had a mini-pizza. We were there to drop my brother off so he could fly home. Of course, I had no idea that my dad would die just a couple of weeks later. 

Isn’t it funny how a place can trigger such powerful memories? I love and hate that about places. I love it because it’s so much fun to remember and I hate it because memories can never replace the real thing. And places change and that makes the memories get fuzzier because you can’t sit down in the exact seat that a loved one sat in. Or you can’t walk on the same floor, or look out the same window. 

Thankfully, the food court at my local airport still looks the same, but I suspect that I’ll show up there one day and it’ll be remodeled. And it will bum me out for a while, but I’ll get over it because I have so many other great memories of spending time with Dad in places that still exist. I know that my memories shouldn’t be so tied to specific places, but for some reason, they are.

How about you? Are you memories tied to specific places?


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