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I lift my foot off the final carpeted step and place it on the hardwood floor,
Thinking back to when I was three and my little bare feet would run around on it,
Hiding behind a corner as my grandfather slowly approached, calling out my name.
I would giggle and giggle until he found me, and then he would pick me up and spin me around,
While I wondered how in the world he had found me in the best hiding spot ever.
I look at the front door and take note of the lack of changes over all these years,
Thinking back to when I was six and came through it smiling, ecstatic to see my grandparents,
Running over to my grandfather as he gave me what I called “the worst hug in the world”.
I would come back for it every time though, and it would brighten my day more than I realized,
While I wondered how in the world he could be so bad at something so simple.
I walk around the corner and into the family room, looking at the perfectly white couches,
Thinking back to when I was nine and we hosted our last Thanksgiving in this house,
Eating cheese and crackers in this room while the adults discussed politics and family drama.
I would watch my grandfather pick up a fork with anchovies on it in utter disgust,
While I wondered how in the world he could eat something so rancid.
I open the back door and make my way outside onto the patio, sitting in one of the set up chairs,
Thinking back to when I was 13 and this place was filled with the smell of the grill and cigars,
Laughing and joking about how angry my grandfather could make my grandmother recently.
I would watch her face turn red as she told him to take his pills, and his face turn red with humor,
While I wondered how in the world he could be so joyful after just getting out of the hospital.
I go back inside and to the back of the family room, picking up one of the pictures on the table,
Studying my grandma’s face and how radiant she looked on the day of their wedding,
Smiling and posing for the pictures that would stay on this table for the next 45 years.
I put the picture down and pick up another of a younger me sitting on my grandfather’s lap,
While I wondered how in the world he could leave me so soon.