My son Lucas has only been to my parents house one time.
Given the circumstances, once is enough.
He was almost five months old and it was a trip made out of necessity. There was much work to be done.
He'll never even remember the six days we spent in Tucson and for that I am grateful.
We were there almost a week and each day proved more difficult than the previous. Thoughts of what should have been swirled my mind and consumed me with grief.
My parents house had been cleared of all the knick knacks and furniture, books, clothing, linens, pots and pans; cleared of all of the items that make a house a home.
There was a fresh coat of paint of the walls that used to adorn family photos and souvenirs from around the world. Now the walls are scarce and a boring egg shell white.
Some of my favorite photos of us were taken in the backyard during that trip. The desert always makes for a beautiful backdrop with it's sun kissed purple majestic mountains and our blue eyes against the Arizona sky.
Lucas saw his first cactus on that trip. He had a bath in the kitchen sink and played on the bed my parents used to share.His laughter filled the halls and lifted our spirits because he didn't know any better.
Never had I dreamed of being in that house with my son without my parents there too.
Aside from all the things that are missing, the house is void of all the warmth, light and love it once held. Cherished memories that I can recall in an instant of Christmas mornings, chocolate chip cookies cooling on the kitchen counters, family debates around the kitchen table and countless summer bar-be-ques.
This was one trip that should have been the first of many.
The house is empty now, it's occupants have been gone for over three years.
There is still some work to be done, but I don't know that I can ever take Lucas back to that house again.
Tonya writes Letters For Lucas and at any given moment can be found changing a diaper or enjoying a glass of Cab while Dave Matthews plays in the background.