|Posted on June 30, 2015 at 1:20 PM|
How do I say good bye to some of the best memories ever? Good byes are never easy no matter what it is; people, places and things. They are hard because it is familiar to the soul. But this good-bye though, is extremely hard. I didn’t know when we pulled off that faithful Sunday in April to return back home that would be our last time together. It is said, “Home is where the heart is.” On today, a mental open heart surgery was performed. My childhood home and I will no longer share the same rhythmic impulse. Our cozy 1,700 square feet, 4 bedroom abode snuggled in the bend of the street is no longer our residence. Even though they are moving, 326 will always be a part of me. It’s my home, my foundation and stability. My family has lived in Oak Cliff in this house my entire life. She remained constant when my life was full of changes. So this good bye is a bit difficult. She was good to me, my family, and those that graced us with their presence. All good things must come to an end and this is the end of an era. They've boxed up containers with our memories, furniture, and history. 326 has been kind to us, the years have not returned the same favor and has worn her down. The palace cannot be renovated or flipped any more. Her flips have flopped and we had to say good-bye… I will definitely miss her.
I am the woman I am today because of 326. She provided soil full of nutrients that helped me grow deep and strong roots to become this mighty tree. She wanted to make sure that I was able to bear fruit when it was time so she institutionalized me with the best instructors on this side of the Mississippi. I learned how to walk, talk, ride a bike, cut grass and polish my fingernails. On Saturday mornings, there was no sleeping in. She loved to be spotless and she wasn’t happy until she was in pristine condition. You could hear Rufus and Chaka singing Jamaica Funk, James Ingram’s Find 100 ways or Luther Vandross’s Bad Boy blasting from the windows with the smell of bleach fumigating the air while the vacuum was humming a different tune. Thanks to her, I know the meaning of “elbow grease” and she required a lot of it. On Sunday mornings, she would pull me out of bed to teach me how to cook Southern cuisine from scratch. Banana pudding, goulash, chicken and dressing, greens, and red beans were her favorite dishes to whip up to nourish her family. After the job was done in the kitchen, she was adamant that I attended church with my Sunday’s best on. Suited and booted with a slip on plus stockings was the only way to go and she was serious about that. So many things happened in 326 that I will cherish forever. I learned how to read, and write, think outside the box, dream, bore my creative genius, lost my virginity and marched to the beat of my own drum. It was there, she dared me to be different and stand out from the crowd.
Many have passed through her iron bar doors and were welcomed with love. If walls could talk, she would have a lot to say and the stories she would tell would put Tyler Perry movies to shame. This address buzzed with people and social functions that would shut the block down. Cookouts, NFL play-off games, get togethers and Sunday dinners were regular events where there was plenty to eat, drink and a good time was had by all. 326 was the cornerstone of the Johnson clan that offered pillars of strength. So much so, she provided shelter for those looking for a fresh start, a loving aunt who loves the Dallas Cowboys, a singing psalmist that loves to decorate and a little cousin that loves to talk and eat. Her doors were always opened. You may have entered as a guest, but when you left you were family. Even though I left her 18 years ago, she never left me. She welcomed me with open arms every time she saw me. I brought laughter, fun and love. She even welcomed my bundle of joy and wrapped him around her finger too. It was there that he learned how to crawl and mumble his first real word, “Hush!”
No matter what, 326 will always be a part of me and my character make-up. She is deeply woven in the tapestry of my being. She provided love, hope, laughter, peace, womanhood, cheer and countless other things that I will always be grateful for. She taught me consistency, responsibility and respect but most of all how to stand on my own two feet. She was filled with God-fearing women that loved the Lord that instilled the same love in me. She was our palace in the hood where we sat proudly on our thrones. Now, you know I was Queen C… and my mom and Granny were the princess and duchess. (Just kidding)
I know parting is a sweet sorrow, but starting over is even a sweeter taste to digest. I am happy for them both as they open this new chapter of their lives. Even though we have all physically moved from 326, she will always remain in our hearts. If you personally know them, join me in congratulating them on this new accomplishment.