We spent Friday in my Mom’s hometown of Canastoda, New York-a place on the map only because it is home to the “International Boxing Hall of Fame.” It’s a sleepy town of 4,700 where change is reluctant.
You get a real sense of time and history in that town. I mean, check out this old church by the lake. Incredible. The camera (rather my camera skills) do not do it justice.

We went there to attend the funeral of my Mother’s best friend since childhood (my Aunt by intention.) It’s all terribly surreal and tragic I still can’t believe she’s gone. I don’t think any of us have processed her absence yet.

My Mom had to meet a realtor at my late Grandmother’s house. I didn’t get to attend my Grandmother’s service three months ago so I had to say goodbye twice that day.

The walls of that house hold memories since I was three years old, just one year older than my daughter now. When I saw how she tried to scoot down those basement steps like I did as a kid, I was amazed.  When my cousins she had never met showed up, Lavinia ran to them. I couldn’t believe that my typically standoffish child seemed to recognize her own blood. It was beautiful and astonishing.
One Aunt has kept a little of my late Grandfather’s garden going and we all picked some garlic scapes. Did you know they are an edible part of the garlic plant? I had no idea. You can basically use it in any foods that typically contain garlic. My Grandfather’s last lesson. It made my heart soar to see my little girl dancing among the rows. Her feet gracing the soil where my Grandfather worked on his masterpiece garden.

We will never go back to that house and now I will have sun soaked memories of saying goodbye, of seeing love and family, roots and blood, in it’s purest form.

Author: dawnrieniets

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6 thoughts on “A Family’s Roots

  1. Aw this post is so beautiful – it brought a little tear to my eye. It's amazing how cousins bond almost instantly. Beautiful to see.

    Posted on June 15, 2015 at 5:09 am
  2. It really got me too- such an incredible thing to see. We made some wonderful memories on a day that could have been so sad. <3

    Posted on June 15, 2015 at 6:15 am
  3. What a wonderful post. I am so glad you we able to return home to say some goodbyes this time. My heart hurts for you and the pain of having to move on. But what a great opportunity to be able to make the memories with your sweet Vin and family. Lots of love from CBUS. <3

    Posted on June 15, 2015 at 8:50 pm
  4. Thanks Danielle, making memories are what this is all about. Worth every moment of the difficult flight and even being apart from my hubby for this whole time. It's strange and wonderful to see my daughter here where I grew up. xo

    Posted on June 16, 2015 at 2:23 am
  5. Lovely…

    Posted on June 22, 2015 at 2:00 am
  6. Thank you x

    Posted on June 23, 2015 at 2:07 pm