Almost a year ago, I went to one of my grandparents’ old home places. It is amazing what happens to homes when they become vacant. The yards go to seed and weeds take over. In fact, their old home-place was surrounded by weeds that were almost chest high. No longer a smooth green lawn but vines, fallen limbs, and tangled underbrush covered the entire yard. The roof was sagging, paint was faded and chipped, window panes were broken, and window sills were rotten. No longer could bright sunlight filter through the dinghy glass. Dust choked the interior and mildew had found the walls and ceilings.
There were no voices in the old house. No laughter around a table. Silence was occasionally interrupted by an unsecured window in the back of the house. The window would slap gently against the rusty frame and then silence would return. The only voices that I heard, the only things that I could see, the only things that I could smell were prompted by memory. It was a sad sight. . .that old house.
But even more sad than this, is the slow disintegration of a family. We have discovered Eli and his sons but there are some very clear lessons that can be gleaned from his relationship with his sons.