This past July was my grandmother’s 90th birthday and I was so happy we were able to make the drive from Georgia to Pennsylvania for this special occasion. It was a short and sweet visit but the time spent there, no matter how long, always leaves me longing for home – a home I haven’t been a part of since I was 6 years old but miss dearly.
I can still remember the day mom crammed us into that tiny car. It reminded me of a circus clown car because it literally breathed a sigh of relief when the doors opened and everyone spilled out. Funny how I can remember that uncomfortable trip, sitting all pretzel legged and humped over as we drove from Pennsylvania down the coast to Melbourne, Florida. Our new home.
We never went back. And the family we were torn from became memories of another lifetime. Connections were severed by anger and control. We had no voice. We had no power. We were pawns in an adult game. Yet we were the ones who lost.
I can still feel the hurt and confusion from being whisked away to a hotel so we couldn’t visit with grandma and grandpa. What had we done and why were we being punished?
The years ebbed on. Life went on. And for every beginning there is a heart breaking end.
I was 16 and in the hospital the last time I spoke with my grandpa. Cancer took him before I was old enough to escape from my personal tormenter.
The years of abstinence make it difficult to feel like I have a place in that old life. I’ve missed so much and I see those who are absorbed in it. Who live it. Breathe it everyday. And then there are those who were welcomed back and wonder if I, too, could ever find my way home again.