In April I flew to Chicago where I met with other family members at my family’s home on Lake Street. It had been more than one year since she died and we were in the final weeks before the new owners were officially new owners. That weekend we emptied drawers & shipped furniture but what was most important was the family time. Our meals and shared cooking made the nearly empty house become a home again.
Since then I’ve received a trickle of packages from her house. In early May I received a set of plates, sauce pans and various kitchen tools. Week after that came more kitchen items that I requested and a coffee table. And tonight arrived the carpet from her den.
My aunt Lydia and I went shopping with her for it. We went to the downtown carpet shop. I remember being quiet to observe how a salesman works with an 80-year old (he was good humored and laughted at her jokes). It was this carpet that she put in the den but after a stroke she moved into the downstairs den so it became her bedroom carpet.
Fast forward maybe 3 years and this is the carpet & pad that arrived today. The box weighed 74 pounds according to the shippers. I spent the whole evening taking apart and putting the living room back together again so the carpet could stretch out.
My living room is much improved — it has needed an area rug for a long time. Besides making my own living room cozy the rug makes me feel like my grandmother is close to me. Visiting her home on Lake Street felt like going home. Now when I come home to my own apartment I feel her hospitality and love.