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While growing up I realize that there are so many memories left in the past, so much that we did not pay attention to, so many moments that we had taken for granted. When my grandmother died last summer, it was the point of realization for me on how quickly life and time change. We do not realize the worth of moments that we are currently living in, how precious every memory is and how valuable is every moment we spend with those we love.

When I was young, my Grandparents had a farmhouse in the countryside, which they still have. This farmhouse is where I spent most of my childhood and had the best moments of my life. I remember spending every summer with my grandparents and my siblings living how country folks lived, growing food, working the land, co-existing with farm animals, and caring for them. The farmhouse was big, painted blue because it was grandma’s favorite color, it had a white fence big enough for the chickens not to fly over it but not too big that you were not able to see the road. There were flowers of every color, my grandma loved flowers, and trees everywhere in the front of the house, and towards the backyard was a field big enough to play baseball filled with all kinds of fruit trees like mangoes, pears, and grapefruit. There was also a big lake and grandma washed clothes in, and we used to dive in during the hot summer days. Every day will begin with the loud rooster crowing and the sweet smell of coffee before the sun is even out. Grandma will wake up before sunrise to make breakfast for all of us, feed the chickens and the pigs, and milk the Sally cow.

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Grandma would make fresh pancakes with fruits and fresh nectar juice for us, it was like little drops of heaven. After having our breakfast, we would help grandma with the house chores, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes then, used to run out on the huge lawn in the farmhouse and play with the animals, feed them, bathe them, and enjoy playing with them. After having fun with the animals, we used to climb up the trees and pluck the fruits. Mangoes, apples, grapefruits, pears, and bringing them back to the farmhouse where grandma and grandpa taught us how to make jams, jellies, and marmalades, and the leftover fruits, were used to make juices. After we finish feeding the animals, fruit picking and then making the jams, we will head to the lake where we will zip line from one side to the other, swim, dive, and play games. I still remember grandma and grandpa used to watch us play while enjoying their tea. At the end of the day, we will sit down by the lake to enjoy the most majestic sunsets ever seen. The sun will set towards the lake making the water appear bright brown, almost as if it was honey and the sky will have a reddish almost like fire color, it was such a breathtaking view that once you saw it, no scene could be more beautiful for you.

On our recent visit here, we again relived all the memories we had as kids except, Grandma was not there anymore. We missed her a lot, no one said so, but deep down we all knew everyone was acknowledging her absence. Grandpa, until now, does not let anyone sit on Grandma’s chair, though Grandpa tries his best that we never feel Grandma’s absence. He presented us with pancakes made my grandma’s exclusive recipe and the fresh nectar we all loved so much. It was so tasty and sticky, pure and thick, no other drink or beer could beat fresh juice from the countryside. After having breakfast, to relive the childhood memories, we again went out and played on the ground as if we were still a bunch of 6 years old when we were actually in our twenties. The swings were not the same, the ropes were worn out and the board we sat on was cracked. Nonetheless, I sat and swung the whole evening, looking at the sunset as I did when I was a child and I looked at the sunset, it made me sad because I missed grandma.

The day ended with Grandpa cooking dinner. Never did I say this before but grandpa used to cook better than my mother and grandma combined. The dinner table was full of all kinds of food, pork chops, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pie, and green salad while we laughed and cracked jokes, we felt Grandma’s absence, but we could also feel the love we have for one another. I miss those moments, and I hold on to them like a precious jewel for they will never come back. Memories like this are sort of like an antidepressant, they will bring you so much joy. One must treasure the time spent with the family and create as many memories as we can for once the time is gone, it will never come back.

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