We spent last week in CA visiting family and going to Disneyland. The first part of the week we were in Santa Barbara where I grew up. No matter how long I visit, it's never long enough. I love being there. Yes, it's a gorgeous coastal city with perfect weather, but, for me, it's where I feel connected to my parents and grandparents. It's almost as if I'm in a dream state, caught somewhere between the past and present.
My parents have been deceased more than 37 years. I was a small girl when my father died, but I remember walking with him, hand in hand along the walkway known as the breakwater, a cement barrier between the harbor and the Pacific Ocean. As I walked along there last week with my family, I thought about how my father had once been there, with me, and I felt closer to him.
We drove past the homes where I grew up. I haven't been inside my parents' house since 1973. Every time I visit, I wonder if maybe that house will be for sale and I can walk through it again. Sometimes, I fantasize that if I touched a wall in that house I could transport back into the past and spend a little more time with my parents, tell them that I love them, immerse myself in the love they shared when we were a young all-American family before tragedy changed our lives.
Yes, I know they are in a better place and I know I'll see them again. But, when I'm in Santa Barbara I can't help but feel more connected to them as I walk where they once walked, sit where they once sat, and touch what they once touched. SB is filled with memories of a time that I wish I could capture and hold onto for just a moment longer.