Goodbye 1011 Seminole Trail

I drove out of my Nana’s driveway for the last time Mother’s Day weekend in a rented cargo van filled with furnishings and trinkets from her home. I don’t believe at the time that the finality of never ever coming back to 1011 Seminole Trail was a reality.  But yesterday, a young couple with two small children bought the house and in a few minutes of signatures, an end of a chapter began for me and my family.  I never knew any other home for my grandparents and Nana after my grandfather passed away. And it was my mother’s childhood home since birth.  Even after Nana died last August, this past Mother’s Day weekend, I went and stayed there and everything was exactly the same, including the pictures on the refrigerator.

It grieved me that no one in our family wanted her house, but none of the grandchildren live in Waycross, and no one was planning to go back. Her children have homes of their own so there was no other option than to sell it.  All of my life, the one constant, through dark and joyful times, was that home, which was a refuge for me. After my father died, I was only twelve, and my brothers, nine and seven, my  Nana graciously opened her heart and home to us.  We lived there for about six months until  my mother bought us a house. When I came home from college, I would always stay at my Nana’s. I would sleep in her bed with her although there were three other bedrooms, I just wanted to be near her. We would talk way into the night.

There was something so comforting about that wonderful house, even after Nana’s death, I would go and stay and it was if she were just gone on a trip and would be back. I took my four year old nephews there to play and they asked me if the reason Great-Nana did not have any food or toys now was because she was in heaven?

I have such wonderful memories of that beautiful home, as do my family and so many of our friends. One of my closest childhood friends, says that some of her favorite memories of her childhood are spending the night there.  My cousins and I decorated Nana’s tree every year, and Christmas Eve went over for egg nog before midnight service. The Thanksgivings and Christmases we spent there were full of love and laughter .  Nana was the glue that kept us all stuck together for better or worse. And 1011 Seminole Trail was that meeting place.

Now, it is an end of a chapter. A new family moves in, and they now will build their memories and life there. My brother, Scott teases me that I hate change and that I am the most dramatic person he knows. And he is right on both occasions. Change is hard for me, especially when it means letting go, and I do have a little drama in the meantime, like standing in front of him trying to take a piece of furniture from Nana’s house. I got mad at my mother for cancelling the phone number a couple of months after Nana died. The thought of never calling 912-283-7007 again was more than I could take.

Honestly, I am amazed at God’s peace that He has given to me now that this chapter is truly finally over. I actually have hope because I know that He never closes one door without opening another.  And I pray for the new family, that they will feel the incredible love my Nana left in that home.  My grandmother’s wish was to never have to leave her home unless she closed her eyes in death there. God granted her that wish ten days after her 100th birthday.

I may not ever be able to go back to 1011 Seminole trail physically, but I have a lifetime of memories that I can pull up in my memory bank any time I need to. I count myself so blessed to have had my Nana for as long as I did, and that I and my entire family had her home as ours. I will always keep my key to that home as a reminder that “home is where the heart is.”  And my heart is and will always be with my Nana, so goodbye 1011 Seminole Trail. You will be missed by the Herrin clan, but I wish you much happiness with your new family.