I’ve been away. Not to far-off lands for big adventures. Not to new and unfamiliar places. This trip was much closer to the heart. I left my home…to go home.
Home, to the little town where I grew up. I spent the first twenty-five years of my life there, and several scattered years after that. Two-lane highways now boast four lanes or more; traffic lights have replaced stop signs. Shopping courts, restaurants and housing complexes have sprung up where farmer’s fields used to be. In spite of all that, I can get from one place to another there, even if I make a wrong turn along the way. The town has changed, but it still feels familiar.
Home, to see my youngest daughter and her family. Her four children are all grown-up now. The youngest boy is seventeen, and my granddaughter just graduated from high school. That was the reason for the trip. Though distance has prevented me from being the hands-on, involved and attentive grandparent that I imagined I would be, I still love them all dearly. Wherever they are, a piece of my heart is with them.
The graduation party gave me the chance to catch up with each of my grandchildren, and to see old friends, other family members, and friends that used to be family. My ex-husband was there, of course; so was his mother, his sister, and her children. I met my husband when I was sixteen and married him when I was only eighteen. It seems like I grew up with those people. Though I’ve been divorced now over thirty years, in many ways they still feel like family.
Home, to the place where I can gather with the people I was raised with. I had several good opportunities to visit with my sisters over the last several days. We played games; we shared meals and wine and good conversations. I love spending time with them! And, though I said I would not go out of my way to see my brother (since he didn’t go out of his way to see me), I stopped anyway, before heading back up north, for a quick chat and a hug. My brother lives in the house we grew up in, so a visit there is always heavy with memories, too.
So, from Saturday to Tuesday, I was “home.” Now, after a day of travel, I’m back in my own little house on Beaver Island. Home, again.