|Photo by compujeramey on Flickr.com|
The railroad: a sign of industrial advancement, moving forward, progress.
She saw it come... she saw it go. And she's still here.
'She' is the 98 year old lady that I spend 8 hours a day with. We will refer to her as Mrs. P.
Today was a beautiful day, and if there is one thing I've learned about Mrs. P. in the short time I've been her caretaker, it is this: she has lived this long because she has worked hard! If you keep going, I guess it is harder for death to catch up to you. :)
Well, as I was saying, today was a beautiful day, and Mrs. P. decided we were going to go for a drive (don't worry, I do the driving!).
The roads we took were bumpy and dusty, but her 'memory lane' sure wasn't. She took me out to the old sites where she grew up, both as a child and as a young married bride.
"That's our land over that-a way," she would say, gesturing with feeble, paper like hands out the open window. The warm breeze blew through her thin, silver hair and brought slight color into her otherwise lean, pale cheeks.
She pointed out numerous plots of lands which her sons now farmed and cared for.
We drove by the old school house plot, the sites of several of her homes, barns, and neighbors' places. We even drove over the railroad. I say we did all this, but in reality....there was nothing there.
The houses were gone...the barns long since disappeared....even the school lot was now just a junky horse field. Even the railroad was a memory....a narrow lane etched into the earth where once metal beams paved the way to prosperity.
After my little tour of a once thriving, sturdy, rural community settled in this ruggedly beautiful Texas countryside, I realized things had changed so very much for this woman riding with me.
Nearly every trace of the life she had lived before was erased from the land...the only firm imprints left were those on her heart and memory.
It hit me: she was a living piece of history!
This was an amazing woman. I felt a moment of awe as I realized...
She had outlived the railroad...
Seen it come and seen it gone....
And she is still here.