Who says you can’t go home? I hear the Bon Jovi song with heartfelt meaning. Home travels with us especially now that I live across the country from my hometown. Home resides in our heart and loved ones. Yet after living from what you have known, is it possible to truly go home? I would answer yes and no. You can certainly learn to appreciate things in a new light. As noted in my blog post, Mindfulness Now, experience transforms us.
At 3 a.m. one morning, I was tossing and turning with the magnitude of changes in life. While I had been sleeping peacefully, I stirred and tried to fall back asleep, but the quiet of morning brought with it thoughts difficult to shake.
For starters, my nephew was about to start his last day of sixth grade. My nephew seemingly went from 11-year-old to teenager overnight. His voice dramatically lower (to the point that I do a double take when he actually annunciates a word over the usual “Hmm..mmm…” middle school response to adults). In fact, due to his “humming”, as my dad calls it, my parents went three months before ever detecting his voice had changed. He is a sly one, that kid.
In fact, due to his “humming,”, as my dad calls it, my parents went three months before detecting his voice had changed. He is a sly one, that kid. As I type, I realize my error in saying that my nephew has turned into a teenager overnight. Joe has always been an old soul. Quiet, but inquisitive. Open to all that nature can teach him. He doesn’t have much need for the hustle and bustle around him except for when it comes to activities in the great outdoors.
I recall that when he came home from the hospital, a movie often playing at his home was Grumpier Old Men. It became his favorite movie at a young age. When he was about eight, my nephew spent the night with me. Guess what movie we watched?
I was shocked when he started singing the intro, none other than Louis Armstrong and Louis Jordan’s, “You Rascal You.” I am going to assume not many kids sing songs by Louis Armstrong.
On his last day of 6th grade, I was happy to pick up my nephew from school. (As noted in my post, The Month of May, I have always enjoyed taking and picking him up from school). When he got into the car, he quietly turned the XM radio to Willie’s Roadhouse. We rode to my parents’ place in silence, with an old country song about a Dear John letter, to fill the silence. I felt I had entered the Twilight Zone.
The surreal moments didn’t stop there. My parents and I heard concerning news about a long-time neighbor. Someone who regularly assists the neighbor explained this old family friend was diagnosed a severe illness. What made the moment especially poignant, was my dad could see our neighbor looking out from his kitchen window, while the conversation was taking place.
Living independently to the age of 96 is more than admirable, but it doesn’t make such news any less heartbreaking. Hundreds of times I have seen, talked, eaten with and even gone on vacation with this him and his wife. Hearing any news about a serious illness hits close to home. Literally in this case. Fortunately, it sounds like the health scare can be treated.
I lived most of my life in Midwest town with a population of less than 40,000 to the snow -bird haven of Tucson, the second largest city in Arizona. In the four years, I have resided in Tucson, I highly doubt I have seen a fraction.
I know some major roadways. I have learned to describe where a particular location is by intersecting streets, rather than the small town short-hand of “turn right just past the mall” or “drive two streets down from the high school,” etc.
This comparison is a lot like the two incidents I mentioned above. Time passes, people change, but we often hold onto previous memories of them. My nephew will be forever young in my eyes no matter what his future accomplishments and milestones. My old neighbors will be like a second set of grandparents, a fixture of my memories of “home”.
The many lanes of a bustling town can lead to exciting places and adventures, but sometimes it feels nice to know where you’re traveling with certainty, without GPS, to a place with familiar turns and bends. Sometimes it feels good to go home.
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