Bluegrass Condo

Bluegrass Condo

September 2012…a time I will NEVER forget. Up to that point in my life I lived with my mother, Melissia, in my Pop-Pops blue row home house for years.  I was consistently bouncing between life with my mother in that row home, and my Nan’s Parkwood house with big purple curtains with my  father, Bruce. Melissia had met my now stepfather Ricky, and we moved into Bluegrass Condos in Northeast Philly. Condo number 11 with the white door was the perfect size for 3 people: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms,  a small box kitchen, and a good size living room with the dining room alongside it.  It was extremely comfortable and I always felt safe.  

Living in the condo, all I could think about is happy memories and how much love the house was filled with. Dull moments NEVER appeared in that condo. I was still young and a newborn was on the way.  Between how outgoing Ricky was and how funny Melissia thought she could be, there were always laughs and jokes flooding the house. It makes me happy to know I had the chance to experience living there and  creating memories. It is now upsetting that I will never be able to go back in time to that period of my  life. 

Me, Melissia, and Ricky… I was 6 moving in, Melissia was 26 and Ricky’s was 29. Melissia became pregnant before we moved in with my first brother Mason. She continued to work through her pregnancy until retiring from bartending at Stadium on Street Road, now called Jimmy’s, before going into labor. Ricky was a project manager, working for Villanova University for many years. I went to school at FitzPatrick Elementary School for kindergarten and first grade while living there. Mason decided to give everyone a Christmas miracle and be born right before our first Christmas in the condo: December 18th, 2012. 

Ricky and Melissia were supportive and always made times fun. Ricky has always felt more of a  positive and stable father figure to me even though my dad had been and is still in the picture. He taught me a lot about who I am as a person and has always pushed and motivated me to want to do better. Comforting me in times of need, he always took me in as his own child even though he  was not with us at birth. Melissia has always been a role model of mine. She has been through all the challenging times with me and taught me what it was like to have a mother figure in my life. Regardless  of how difficult it was to grow up with split parents, she always made it easy for me and supported me in my  choices and whatever I wanted to be. Melissia has never failed me as a mother, regardless of where we  lived growing up, always filling the house with love. Both Ricky and Melissia have taught me what  love and support should feel like without having to ask my whole life. No matter how big or small, the  things they have done helped create a million amazing memories I carry with me to this day, all from the brief time we spent together in the Bluegrass Condo.

Haley Keebler-Lentz is a senior at Franklin Towne Charter High School. This short story was inspired by her personal experience growing up and how it was learning to accept new people into her life at a young age. She now lives with her mom, step father and two brothers in Northeast Philadelphia.