I suppose I'll start this post by saying this:
these are not great images. They are not technically correct, I did not follow any lighting rules, they are grainy... but. They are very personal. I lost my grandfather a few years ago, and it was super, super hard. We brought him home to this house so he could be within the walls he built his family in. Built his life.
Earlier this year, my grandmother followed him. While the loss of my grandfather was very hard, this one hit me like a freight train. It's like when you're reading a really, really good book, and all of the sudden you're holding fewer and fewer pages in your right hand and entirely too many in your left, and you know there's no way that everything you need to happen will happen between those couple of pages in your right hand and the back cover.
Breathy. Panicky. The end of an era. The back cover closed on my childhood and I was really, really, incredibly, not ready.
Even though I live just two houses down, I haven't been able to go into her house since she left it, until earlier this week. And it was hard. There have been contractors filtering in and out of there, and a lot of things have been irreverently tossed out of the way. And that hurt. Everything has a place in Granny and Paw's house and that's where it should be. But some of it, most of it... hadn't moved at all. And that hurt worse.
It wasn't until I was in the midst of all their things that I realized that 22 years of Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, birthdays... are over. There will never be another one there. Soon it will just be a realtor boasting about how they ripped out the (olive green, well water-stained) tub I sang California Raisins in with Granny and replaced it with a Kohler. Soon another young family will be having Christmas there and my childhood will just be ghosting somewhere brick and tile.
So, I took photos. Here they are.