Saturday, July 29, 2006

What Seems Like Centuries Ago

"Katie, what year did your volleyball team win the championship?"

"A lot of them, why? Which one?"

"What years did you win?"

"Umm.. it must have been 1995, 1994, 1993, and 1992. Why?"

"Mom and I are down at the church rummage sale and they're selling the trophies! Do you want them?"

This was a phone call from my older sister last night in which I learned that the church I attended as a child was closing all doors to the public, except for mass. They recently closed the school due to low enrollment which sent a lot of their existing parishioners off to attend mass at the new school their child was a student of. I'm not sure if they expected it but the church then fell on hard times and couldn't afford to pay the bills. Their solution was to turn the school section of the building into a home for the elderly to generate more revenue. And while I was expecting that this would happen one day I never really considered what would happen to all of the school's stuff like the trophies, jerseys, desks, books, chalkboards, and tables.

I debated on the trophies but turned them down when I realized the rest of my volleyball, softball, and basketball memorabilia was long forgotten in the closet of my old bedroom at my parents house. Though I did have them search through the jerseys for one of my old numbers but it was to no avail.

"You should come down here, maybe you will be able to find one."

"Maybe I should."

"Yeah. All right. I'll see you later."

I waited a long time while I debated on going. I'm still not sure what kept me. Perhaps I was lazy or the sentimentality was just too strong for me to handle. I thought back to the eight or so odd years that I attended Sunday school there--the Christmas plays we practiced and the songs and prayers we learned. I remember the library being one of the smallest and darkest I had ever been in, but also one of the most furnished with big round tables and shelves upon shelves of books. The preschool room is my favorite. My parents live just across the street and twenty years ago my mom would walk me the short distance to preschool everyday where we would sing "This old lady swallowed a fly.." and count red balloons and my friends and I would make hams of ourselves trying to sing the loudest during musical pageants. Countless years of running, jumping, sweating, and spiking took place in the gym during volleyball and basketball seasons. When I was a teenager I worked the concession stand during Bingo nights.

In the end I grabbed my purse and keys and drove to my parents house. The church parking lot was packed and in an effort to procrastinate even more I walked into my parents house to visit with my dad first.

"Did you go down to the rummage sale at all?" I asked him.

"They didn't say anything about a sale. Your mom just asked if I wanted to go down for a final walk through but I said no. I remember what it looked like."

As you can guess my mother is obviously the more sentimental of the two but it hadn't occurred to me until he and I had this conversation that this school wasn't only part of my childhood, but my parents attended grade school there. They first met while attending school there and while they did not start dating until years after they would graduate, I'm sure my mom was envisioning a little version of themselves and all of their siblings walking through the hallways and listening intently while the nuns gave lessons.

I never made it to the sale. I sort of regret it now but I have a tendency to become a little too emotional when it comes to my past. I wasn't sure I was ready to see any of the people or risk them seeing me get all chocked up.

Strangely, the church Jon and I attend now still has countless years of jumping, sweating, and spiking in the gym but we were there as a rival of sorts.

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