A few weekends ago, my dad and I were at a truck rental agency in Cincinnati, OH. We were headed to the house my grandparents bought 57 years ago. With my Grandpa having passed away a couple years ago and my Grandma in a nursing home, the house is now for sale and we needed to get our things. My dad asked me to bring up the directions on my phone.
Knowing the address by heart (I can recall addresses and phone numbers from my childhood better than those of today), I typed it into Google Maps. The map appeared, along with a small photo of the house at the bottom left of the screen. The Street View provided a nostalgic glance at the house I knew in my heart I might be going to for one of the last times— if not the last time. I clicked on the screen with my thumb and enlarged the image.
There he was, my Grandpa Ed, sitting on the porch with his legs crossed, in one of the two Cracker Barrel rocking chairs my parents gave him and my Grandma for Christmas many years ago! I couldn’t believe my eyes. How in the world had the Google Maps Street View driver managed to capture him at this exact moment? Then, I realized Grandpa was probably in this same position every day and I was just lucky an update of Burch Avenue had not already occurred.
Modern technology can be so strange, at times. But, there are definitely moments when you can’t help but just be thankful for the ways it provides moments of awe and gratitude and maybe even an unexpected hello from a deceased relative. For me, this was one of those moments.