In January my Mom passed away suddenly and I wrote about it in this post. At the time my sisters and I did not rush to have a funeral or service. Instead, after speaking with her siblings, we decided to push the memorial out until the late Spring/early Summer. This delay, allowed us to do it in her hometown, allowed more people to attend and it was held during a time that the weather was more cooperative. More than that it would allow my sisters and I to take a trip down Memory Lane.
We grew up in the suburbs of Chicago near my Dad’s family, but every year my parents threw the three of us in the backseat of the car and we took a vacation to “The South” to see my Mom’s side of the family. Mom was born in Corbin, KY and as part of our annual trip we would frequently stop, for a day or two, in this small mountain town, to attend the family reunion or take a visit to Cumberland Falls.
We would then continue our trek to Athens, Tennessee. We would spend the vacation staying at my Grandmother’s house or Mammaw’s as she was known to us. Aunts, uncles and cousins on Mom’s side all lived near one another so our trips were filled with lots of family time and catching up with those that we did not get to see throughout the rest of the year.
It was always important to Mom & Dad that we had some nuclear family time as well, so the 5 of us, would take a mini vacation within the vacation and head up to Gatlinburg for a few days. Since this was something we did every year, we started to develop some of our own traditions around the little tourist town.
My Sisters and I decided Mom’s funeral would be a good chance to re-visit these places and traditions from our youth. We could hold on to some of our childhood memories while rebuilding new ones in these same places as adults. Due to some extenuating circumstances only one of my Sisters was able to make the trip, but she did bring one of her boys, my nephew. It was a special trip and I cherish the time the three of us got to spend together.
Over the next couple of days and during the next few blog posts I’d like to share this trip down memory lane.