By: Katie A. Lombardino, Guest Blogger
My childhood memories are rushing through my mind today. They are filled with happy times spent with my first friends in life – siblings and cousins. I saw a sign recently that read “Grandma’s house – the place where cousins become friends” and I know that to be true for me. The trail between grandma’s house and Uncle Bobby’s saw much traffic in my childhood.
The memories of my childhood consume my thoughts as the reality of adulthood shatter my beliefs of all that should be right and good in the world. This shattering came not all at once, but began when in a desire to return to the land of my ancestors I was denied that opportunity. I asked not for a gift, but to purchase my right… to purchase a piece of my heritage. I did not pursue this desire extensively when refused because soon other doors opened and today I live on land that I know not who came before me.
I write today for my child. A child who loves the wilderness and land. A child who loves to hear of his heritage. A child who roams the woods and imagines a time when a man lived off the land, a time when a syrup mill existed and a family prospered off the land. A child who loves to explore nature. Today I write but do I fight for my child’s heritage?
The scheme to cut family out of their birthright is a concept so foreign to my ideals that I shake with a sorrowful anger that it is happening in our family. The legacy of the Anthony estate is in ruins. I am angry. There is no cause other than evil that children would be disinherited by a parent. Children who have taken no extreme actions to warrant such a maneuver. All is to be gifted to one child. A child with no heirs.
In whose hands will the field fall? Who will roam the syrup mill? What of the trails that lead to and around the field? Who will hunt this land? Who will manage the land and timber? I ask who will care? Who will care that generations have lived and prospered on this land? Who will care that money is spent as quickly as a tree is harvested? Who will care that once a family gathered home for the holidays? Who will care that in a once small house generations gathered together and feasted on traditional meals with adults around one table and children around another? I don’t know if I can afford to care…..the memories of a grandfather who walked silently through the woods and spooked children into fits of laughter…..memories of naming large stones in a dry creek bed as we explored the woods….memories of Easter eggs hidden under Azaleas….fresh fish….stopping in everyday after school….memories of a family…not illusions of perfection or perfect people, but memories of time well spent with those whom we are linked.
I do not know how to reconcile the anger and sadness brought on by actions of loved ones. I think of the future and what will I tell my child. Once there was a family who work hard and accumulated much over many years by living a prudent life, but in a matter of months it was all wrecked. I do not know how this story will end. I do not know if I can afford to care.