When you live in the same town you grew up in, something as simple as a glance down a tree-lined street can flood your mind with memories. If I chose to, I could spend endless hours just remembering how things used to be, how things have changed, and how many who made our town what it is, are gone. As an adult with children of my own, life gets busy and even though I drive the same streets I walked on and biked through and skateboarded over decades earlier, I'm not thinking about those days that have passed--I'm thinking about the present and the future.
And then someone dies. It's not always a death that makes me remember my life as a child. Sometimes it's a windstorm that blows over a huge pine tree. Sometimes it's the local fire department running training maneuvers by purposely burning down an old house, a house where people I knew actually lived in and where I used to visit. Sometimes it's seeing deer tracks in newly fallen snow and I remember seeing a doe and her fawn in the back yard as they made their way up the mountain.
But not many things can force my mind to recall childhood memories like the passing away of one of the town's favorite citizens. Today we said goodbye to Glenda Rigby. I probably haven't seen her for over twenty years, but when I think of her, I think of when I was a child and she read to us on the steps of the old fire station. Of course, it was not the old fire station at the time. I remember her brother who walked the streets of Farmington and we would say hello to him and he would always wave back. Just thinking of those people makes me remember my best friends who have all moved away and have chosen to raise their families in other communities, allowing their children to experience childhood memories where they live, letting them ride their bikes and skateboards on the uneven sidewalks of their hometowns.
As the years come and go, more and more of those we knew would always "be around" no longer are. It makes me realize that the life I knew is forever disappearing as surely as the trees and the buildings and the people we love. Thank you Glenda for reading to me as a small child, and...for everything else.
* Photo used without permission from: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/77416379
§ Photo used without permission from: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/deseretnews/obituary.aspx?n=glenda-miller-rigby&pid=162459185&fhid=12972#fbLoggedOut