The year was 1968. We had just moved into our new house. The word they used to describe me as a child was precocious. From this photograph, I can see why. 😂 My favorite feature from our house was the Koi pond behind me in the photo. I would sit on the huge, flat stones at the edge of the pond for hours and just stare at the Koi peacefully going about their business. Some days, I would put my feet in the water (I know, gross!) so I could feel the Koi swish against my bare feet. My yaya would get so mad each time she would catch me. Staring at the Koi and being with them always gave me a sense of peace. One year, when I was about 8 or 9 all the Koi died after NeW Year’s Eve that had massive fireworks in the neighborhood. My mom and I were so sad for days. What a nightmare it was to see all our beloved Koi, dead.

The kitchen door in the photo was painted fire engine red. My father was horrified at the choice, but mom insisted that red doors brought good luck. Perhaps it did.

In the photo with me is my Lola Manding, mom’s cousin. She was bright, fun, and smart. We would chat for hours on end, me at 4, she maybe at 54.

So very much has changed in the family home. The pond is now an extension of the garage where we held parties in high school and college; the kitchen door is no longer red. And my dad has been gone almost 40 years now but he is forever in my heart. My mother, at 87 is still there, but not quite there all the time. However, I now choose to remember only what is good. Who knows? Someday maybe I’ll have a home again with a Koi pond to dip my feet in, and in doing so, my life would have come full circle. ❤️

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