Author Topic: "Our place"  (Read 1217 times)

TooSoon

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"Our place"
« on: November 06, 2016, 08:47:48 AM »
I just need to put this in writing.  As some of you know, after a long two years of waiting and planning, Andy and his daughter moved here in September.  For the most part, we're doing what I knew we would be doing - negotiating the complexities of blending our families.  It is not always smooth sailing but I don't think either one of us really expected it to be a walk in the park. 

Anyway, we took the girls out to dinner on Friday night to a Syrian restaurant in my town.  This isn't just any Syrian restaurant.  It was "our place."  15 years ago we went on dates there.  10 years ago it was the first place we took our newborn daughter after coming home from the hospital.  As an infant, the Syrian aunties in the kitchen would take her back in the kitchen and pass her around so we could eat in peace.  As a toddler, she ran around the restaurant like she was family.  And actually, maybe she partially is since her father was half-Syrian and his relatives from the same region as the owners.   Anytime we had out of town guests, we took them to this restaurant.  We celebrated birthdays there.  And graduations.  And I don't know, it was just our place.  Even after he died, I took great comfort in going there.  To a place where my memories still felt real.  The owners cried with us when they found out he was going to die.  They cried with us when he died.  They were so happy when I told them I was going to be getting married again. 

Anyway, we took the girls there on Friday.  Andy had gone once before to celebrate M's 8th birthday with my parents on his very first visit here ever so actually, in fact, it is also the place where he first met my parents.  But on Friday we walk in and I instantly sensed something was not right.  The people in the kitchen were different.  It wasn't the family I recognized and who knew us by name and who hugged M every time we went in.  It was other people.  Confused, I went to the bathroom and when I came out I realized all of the family pictures that used to hang on the side of the beverage fridge were gone.  And then it hit me, they'd sold the business.

And it hit me hard.  I felt sick.  I told Andy I wanted to leave but he said, "We're here now."  (not in a mean or thoughtless way at all).  The children looked confused.  I had to explain it all to M.  I had to go outside to catch my breath.  I felt guilty because the new owners clearly knew what my reaction was because I am pretty sure I'm not the first person they've seen have that response (it was a special place, you just have to trust me on that).  The menu was the same but I just couldn't pull my shit together.  Mercifully and incredibly, three of my work colleagues had driven out here for dinner and when they walked in, they came and joined us and that helped me shift my focus and pull it together but god it was such a strange sensation.  One I have not had in a long, long time. 

I guess it was a now rare reminder of how ephemeral things really are.  Now even The Damascus exists only as memory.  Life has moved forward and we've moved forward with it and life is good again, but I guess I kept a little bit of Scott alive in me every time we went in there - it was a place that never changed, a place where, unspoken, his presence was palpable, where all of those wonderful memories were still tangible, where I could recall so much love and warmth in food and faces that were familiar and familial.  But then, like everything else, it changed. And it made me sad.  One more concrete link to that life gone.  It seems so silly, I know. 

I just needed to say it out loud.  Thank you for listening.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 10:53:06 AM by TooSoon »

cathyr

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Re: "Our place"
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 10:49:44 AM »
Beautifully written... and I completely understand.  :'(

Julester3

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Re: "Our place"
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2016, 01:30:40 PM »
I completely understand the attachment to a specific place. I am grateful it happened to us before my husband died. We got attached to Walter Payton's restaurant and brewery. My husband was a huge Chicago Bears fan (as well as a Cubs fan). They had awesome food and the microbrew was excellent. We got married there, had our anniversary dinners there, had family gatherings there. We found out that the family sold it off a few years ago and a new brewery took it over. We tried to give the place a fair run but it just was not the same even if it were the same location. That was 4 years ago so we ended up just going to random restaurants for our anniversary every year since then.

I am sorry you had to find out so suddenly like that. It was sure to be a mental shock to try to absorb in real time though. Hugs!

SemperFidelis

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Re: "Our place"
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2016, 06:08:34 PM »
I understand. Thank you for posting.

twin_mom

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Re: "Our place"
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2016, 09:02:01 AM »
Oh my, my heart just broke for you reading this post. It's so hard when something we don't even realize is a "constant" changes from under us. Yes, things change and life goes on, but that doesn't mean it can't knock us for a loop. Big hugs to you.

jeudi

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Re: "Our place"
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 01:25:00 PM »
What a beautiful piece of writing. Lump in my throat. I'm so glad to have read this...