Memory Journey

Written March 31, 2018

Yesterday I stumbled into a memory journey. Picture after picture of smiling faces and color. Vivid examples of true happiness. Freedom. Love. Laughter. Learning. I fell into telling stories, ignoring work to be done in my new career. Sharing experiences with a new colleague. We started on Google Maps, looking for an address discrepancy to solve a puzzle in mortgage world. Then, before I knew it I was showing her around Gunnison from a bird’s eye view. My home, the runway, the bank, the ice rink, and then the school.

Orsch’s addition wasn’t yet visible from the street view, but it was there in the aerial view. Back and forth, street view to aerial view. The memories began flooding in. Building the addition. An entire school living in a semi truck for the summer. The playground next door exists in the street view, but not the aerial view. There’s even a story in that. Story after story. I begin to tell bits and pieces and Laura listens–cares.

I want to show her the building in pictures, so I take her to Facebook. I have not been to Orsch’s page since the last time I posted there in May 2015. I see that it still gets viewed, probably by students and parents, but I haven’t been brave enough to venture there. Giving no thought to what the journey would feel like, I go straight to our grand opening and the first day of school in our new building. Story after story here too. How Elizabeth packed a huge box full of think hardcover dictionaries…and on move-in day the box fell from the semi exploding dictionaries. How we all came together to move, paint, hang shelving, and build our dream. Happy children in every picture.

Then we took the journey back in time a bit. Halloween parties, dances, field days, science fairs, random dance parties, cool activities, color, smiles, children of all sizes swarming. The pictures almost seem to move. The vibrance shouts. The color spills. The memories flood. I am able to click through pictures without tears. I am able to tell stories with a clear voice. And I know it is because I am finally writing about it. It’s because I’m processing now.

Tears stream as I write about Orsch–every time. So much underneath. So much good gone. So much hardship gone too. So much. Now I am happy, content, healthy, but so much lost. So much gone. I can’t take down the website. I can’t close the FB page. It lives, frozen in time. What will ever come of it all? I sense that something will. Will those children in those pictures suddenly press ‘play’ and break free? It seems like maybe they will.

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