Yesterday, I had reason to go to Pensacola. My mom had lived in that area (Gulf Breeze) since before I adopted Christopher until 2003. As a result, there are a lot of “Christopher memories” in that area.
As a matter of fact, the home that Christopher lived in before he came to me was in Santa Rosa County (same as Gulf Breeze). When we were transitioning from their family to me, we would alternate between me coming to their home or that family coming to mine. When I would pick him up at their home, Christopher and I would just go to my mom’s place rather than driving all the way back to Tallahassee. As a result, some of my earliest memories of getting to know Christopher were based in that area.
We often went to “Quiet Waters Beach”. This is an area on Pensacola beach, on the sound side, that was very calm; perfect for small children. The water was shallow and the beach was full of families with young children. At the place where my mom live, Seaview Pines, there were 23 units in a “U” shape. In the courtyard, there was a small pool. For most of the time that mom lived there, this was a really great community. We would be out at the pool and everybody knew us and we knew them. It was easy place to be.
Seaview Pines was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The place has been rebuilt, but nothing looks even remotely familiar. It was almost hard to imagine what I remembered. It appears that few people who lived there before the hurricane will be back.
That is kind of how I feel about moving forward without Christopher. What I knew has been destroyed. It is being rebuilt, but it doesn’t look even remotely familiar. I fear that it will become hard to imagine what I remember (and that is why I write). The question is, what can be done?
I don’t know. I suspect that this is the root cause of my desire for a “new life.” I don’t want to rebuild on the same ground. I don’t know that I can handle trying to live with the memories in a place while there is a totally different view. At the same time, every change I consider is diminished by the reality that it will always be a direction that I took, “because Christopher died.” Hard to get excited about that foundation on which to move forward.
Doesn’t appear to leave a lot of options.