Neff Road: A place in the heart


The car may not know where it is going, but certainly the women in the car knew the way. Time may pass, still the path does not. We cross the state line and something changes. Anticipation? Dread? What are the feelings for they are many. The dread of coming back with our home gone as well as our parents? Anticipation of seeing loved ones again? The missing of a childhood?

It had been 16 years since we had been in Darke County together. So what drew us back? First and foremost we wanted to spend time with our dear cousin Alma Lea Gilbert. Some people bring a smile just thinking of them. Such was our time with Alma Lea.

Walking into the BRC felt very strange. Doris and Victor Lavy are gone. Margaret Stager is gone. No longer could I give them hugs and tell them how much they meant to me. Those from Neff Road are gone. Time may have robbed me, but memories embrace me.

After we said our good-byes to Alma Lea and Duane, we made another stop. A knock on the door. Popping my head into the room. “Pauline, it’s the Loxley girls.” There are moments in your life that are forever captured and held in your heart. Pauline Aukerman’s loving embrace of two girls she had not seen in decades was one of those moments. Pauline is one of my church moms. One of my favorites.

I have thought a lot about those visits over the years to the BRC. Yes, I stopped in to touch base with those people I love, but it is much, much more. It is not what we give to them. It is what they give to us. I am given tenfold of what I give. I am blessed beyond words with the loving affection I receive. We are not placed on this world without purpose. Our blessings are not in what we gain for ourselves. It is not necessarily what we give to others. I truly believe it is that reaching beyond what is earthly to a place that is sheer love.

My heart is fuller for this visit with those who found a space in their time to see me. It truly is something to pass on.

By Pamela Loxley Drake

Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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