Ode to Sheridan

When I was younger, the age my kids are now, there was a place just beyond my backyard that me and my friends used to call “the village”. It was probably part of someone’s backyard but it was nestled so perfectly with rocks surrounding and hills you could sled down and not be too scared. No one ever yelled at us for being there thankfully but it was a place that felt magical at the time because it was just out of our parents sight enough to feel like we were truly on our own. But looking back it was just an extension of what was my childhood home. The big tree in the backyard was perfect for a tomboy like me to climb, not too high or too scary but just enough to feel like I was doing something brave. The ditch that always felt so forbidden because it was always covered in crazy plants that could hurt us so it felt like a jungle to be explored.  
The big red porch where we spent so many nights just talking and the big red porch where she watched my children search for Easter eggs for the last time.  
The kitchen where so many amazing things were made…the things she was famous for. Macaroni and potato salad, deviled eggs, Chex mix, fried rice, lasagna, mashed potatoes, pickled eggs and iced tea. The kitchen where she first taught me how to be a mother and give my daughter her first bath. The kitchen where she patched up all of our booboos, from Little me to my fourth child.
The bathroom where we joked that Amber’s evil twin had fallen down the vent just so she would stay away from it as a baby. The bathroom that bathed all of us at one point and made us feel safe.
The dining room where we ate all of our holiday meals but what once was my sisters room painted dark blue to reflect her moody teenaged angst, covered in Grateful Dead bears and tie dye. The room I begged to sleep in even as teenagers because it always felt so much more fun and safe to be together at night. The room that eventually housed one of my own children’s sleeping quarters when we visited and where I would go to escape for a little while.
The bedroom painted teal but then painted pink because there were only ever supposed to be girls in there. Where the beta fish that “lived” for years graced the walls in an adorable little bubble. Where I held all my birthday parties and choreographed entire songs worth of dances while she yelled at us for pounding on the floor too loud. The bedroom who saw my first boyfriend and all my best friends but always with the door kept open.
The living room where all the magic happened. All of the Christmases, the New Years, Easters. Where she fought so incredibly hard while still making us laugh and where she ultimately took her last breath.
The upstairs hallway that at one point housed the computer and what we knew as the internet. Where I hung out with friends listening to music and making videos and taking pictures and just…was a teenager.
The makeshift bedroom where I listened to Cindi Lauper records on the record player you gave me and had many spooky sleepovers. The room that eventually turned into dad’s gaming room/ash tray.
The “attic” that held all he treasures we would occasionally ask to see or the ultimate hiding place for hide and seek.
The upstairs bathroom where everyone went to poop because it was away from everyone else. Ha!
The bedroom where my parents slept, that felt super sacred and special, but welcoming whenever I had a bad dream. The one I can remember yelling up to as a kid to wake my mom up in the morning or ask her where something was while she toiled about up there doing god knows what.
This place that was home to me and my sisters and my children…and my cousins and my friends and our wonderful pets. The place where my amazing wonderful mother lived and breathed and talked for the very last time. I will miss you Sheridan, with every ounce of my being.

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