The last lesson had been taught, the last kickball kicked and the last lunch tray washed years and years before.
During the summer of 2006 I visited my old friend....my elementary school....and she was looking pretty good. A little tired and worn out, but holding her own. You can read about my visit back then here and see a few pictures I posted.
Crack addicts, vagrants looking for shelter broke in.....all of the copper pipes were taken as well as fixtures of any value and old glass....doors and transoms....the very tall windows.....the types of things "they don't make like that anymore."
And at some point the community...if it can be called that....began using my school as a dumping ground. Quite frankly, I can't call my old community a "community" because how can you treat an old building....a school that was so integral to the community for so long.....like this?
.....and of course by climbing those steps I was confronting the past.
I though about that as we traversed the hallway...a hallway now littered with insulation and torn ceiling tiles...piles of trash....torn up pieces of sheet rock. At some points along the hallway we were literally tottering on piles of debris and very uncertain as to what was underneath.....even if anything would be underneath to support us.
Why didn't I notice him more?
Why did he die at such a young age?
Where is she now?
That was so important to me then...when did it change?
This is what is left of my fifth grade classroom...the first year I had a boyfriend....a boyfriend who actually returned my feelings.
The walkway...now overgrown where I sat as a child waiting on my mother to pick me up.
I'm content with my memories, but I know deep in my heart I'll continue to wrestle with my questions because apparently I've reached that season of life.....
I'm ready for the season to change.