Hiking Down Memory Lane

As teenagers, my brother and I spent a lot of time playing in the woods.  We went hiking, fishing, and swimming in the creek.

We also built a makeshift fort and took some of my mom’s old lawn furniture down there.  Mom never did figure out what happened to her chairs.

We spray-painted graffiti under the bridge.  We wrote our names, the names of our dogs, and noted each year we were there.

Basically, the two of us ran wild through those woods and we were having a blast.

That was 26 years ago.  Aaron passed away three years ago and his birthday is on Monday.  I decided to take his daughter (Gwen) out there.  She heard various stories over the years, but never got a chance to see the area.  It seemed like a good way to honor Aaron’s memory.

I was surprised to see a lot of our graffiti is still there.  Each step I took, felt like I was going back in time.  Even though the terrain has changed some over the years, I could still recognize different sections and areas.  I still remembered my way around those woods.

Memories of those days flooded my mind.  It was a surreal feeling.  I could almost see us and our dogs running wild.  I was excited to see it all again.  However, I felt the grief of my brother’s death.

I was hiking down memory lane and my heart was overflowing with mixed emotions.

 

Day Spent Honoring Aaron Thaler

We spent the day honoring my brother.  We told stories and laughed, but we also cried.

Mom and I went to the Huntsville Botanical Garden to see the tree that I sponsored in memory of Aaron.  I presented the sponsorship information to Mom last Christmas, because I  wanted her to know Aaron will never be forgotten and his life made a difference in this world.

Then Mom, Gwen, and I went to the cemetery to put fresh flowers on the grave.  It was hard standing there looking at his headstone.  We all miss Aaron so much and there will always be an empty place in our lives.

Homicide House

Twenty years ago, there was a quadruple homicide in this house.  The victims were teenagers and they were killed for accusing a young man of stealing a cell phone.

The guilty individual, as well as his two accomplices, were convicted and the house was eventually abandoned.

I drive by this house all the time and this week I was compelled to look inside of it.  It’s hard to describe how I felt entering the house.

There was a mixture of sadness and grief, due to the senseless murders that happened here.  I can’t even imagine how those poor teenagers felt as they realized their lives were coming to an end.  Also, I felt angry.  How can someone be so evil and callused?

I didn’t know the teenagers, but I feel for them and their families.  I wonder what they would have accomplished if their lives were not taken from them.

I left the house with a heavy heart and a lot of questions.