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My Name in the Sidewalk

Life Story Club Contributor

My mom has passed away and her name is Joyce and so part of what we were saying actually passed away, was that we need to try and choose joy. So it’s like, “Okay, what’s my favorite hangout?” And the thing that came to my head was very innocent and joyful. The house that we were brought up in.

I was one of five girls and my father died when we were all very young. And so my mom was a single mom, so we were in a small house in a small town. It was a corner lot and my favorite hangout was, well, I just loved to be at home.

Now I haven’t lived there in probably 20 years, maybe 25 years. So I was looking for a picture. I was trying to go find a picture of the home. I could not find a picture of our childhood home. But I found this picture that I take that I had taken probably 30 years since this moment, but that is a picture of the sidewalk. We are corner a lot and it was my sister. So my baby sister and me. We were the two youngest and the corner lot right on the corner of the street.

They had just cemented one corner of the sidewalk. So, you know, two young kids and fresh cement. Just looking at it and looking at. We played outside all the time and walking back and forth and we would walk back and forth because we had this huge picture window in the front of our house and not too long after my father passed away, my oldest sister was diagnosed with cancer. My mom was a nurse, so she kept her home most of the time and towards the end, she put a big hospital bed in the picture window. That’s where my sister was. My sister’s bedroom. So we would play out front, on the sidewalk and look at her inside in bed with each other. And so it was our favorite place to play because we could see her, and she could see us.

So that sidewalk just held kind of special memories, but I remember the day with the wet cement. We just couldn’t resist. We took a stick and we wrote our names into the sidewalk.

And so this was probably 30 years later when I went back home to see my parents. My mom, she didn’t get remarried for many years, then eventually did after we were all grown. She moved out to the country, but we would still drive back past our old house on 30 Diana Street in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. And I remember walking on the sidewalk once, but I had forgotten that we had done that and I got up there and all I could think was, “Oh my gosh. Our names our still there.” So I had taken a picture of my name and sent it to her.  

There was an old commercial. I don’t know if you remember it. It was about loud mufflers on cars and it would say, “Midas size it.” My sister and I would stand on that corner for hours and yell that at cars: “Midas size it.” And it was just these moments of pure joy like innocent childhood, not a care in the world for us. We didn’t have much but we just there were so many moments of just pure joy on that sidewalk.

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