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So Daddy and I came down to Charleston last night, spent the day today, and will get up in the morning and go back to Townville.

This has definitely been an experience. I thought maybe by getting away from the house I would feel a little better…and I do, but this trip has also been hard in it’s own way. I realized as I rolled my suitcase into Church Street Inn that I have never stayed here without Mama. Ever. I have hardly gone anywhere in Charleston without her. This was the vacation she was always excited about. She would rant and rave about holes in the walls and take pictures and tell the manager, she took pictures of the three of us on a flooded sidewalk, in front of the ballerina statue (which is still standing), in front of the fountain (which still has goldfish)… I recognize the same sales people, and some of them smile at me, and I wonder if they recognize me, am I even recognizable? I don’t feel like I look the same way anymore…

This morning Daddy and I got up and went to eat in Diana’s. This early morning outing was relatively non-traumatic (“relatively” being the key word). We then went to Barnes & Nobles and bought books, then took a stroll through the market. Once again, there it was: stark nothingness. I passed the store where Mama always stopped to look at smocked baby clothes, where we would always go and hold up Confederate flag merchandise and jokingly ask Sarah if she wanted to buy it, where Mama always eyed the sweetgrass baskets… In a way I have felt more empty on this trip then I have anywhere else…

It felt more so when Daddy and I came back to the room. When I say the room I’m saying 208… “the” room, the room that Mama always wanted to stay in. I would estimate that it’s roughly the size of our house in total square footage. And Daddy left for a while and I sat on the leather couch and listened to the silence. I almost felt like the room was mocking the small, fragments of our family that had come to seek refuge. So I promptly left and continued to walk these streets of South Carolina’s most haunted, historic city… A city that is now full of new shadows, new ghosts, and new hauntings…

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