Directly across the street from my mother’s childhood home, was a grocery store.
It was just a small, simple grocery store. Nothing special. Just a neighborhood grocery store.
It was where my Nana did her grocery shopping. Where she bought the food she would later use to make breakfasts and dinners for her ever growing family. Where she dragged unwilling children through the aisles. Or pulled them away from the shelves that were off limits.
It was where my mom and her siblings were forced to visit daily, sometimes up to four times a day. Whenever Nana forgot something, the kids were sent across the street to pick it up. Was it inconvenient for them? Yes. Was it embarrassing to go through the same check out line several times a day? Absolutely! But they did it.
It was where my aunt, her husband, and my uncle had part time jobs. Where they earned pocket change for nights out or things Nana and Papa wouldn’t buy for them. Where they learned responsibility and people skills that would aid them in their future endeavors.
It was where, whenever my sister and I had sleepovers, we were allowed to pick out special treats. Candy bars. Ice cream. Cookies. Anything that mom wouldn’t allow.
They skipped by it on their way to the nearby park. They walked by it every day on their way to school. Drove by it everyday to work. And they smiled at it whenever they visited their old home.
And now it’s gone. Knocked down yesterday.
It wasn’t just a grocery store. It was their childhood. It was the last remaining thing in an ever changing neighborhood. Their childhood home is no longer theirs. Their parents are no longer with us. And their grocery store no longer stands.
It wasn’t just a small, simple grocery store…it was so much more.