I never had any reservations about moving back to West Michigan, even though I knew that the ghosts of my life hover more prominently in the curbs and corners of this place.
As I drive the tree lined roads of my hometown, my mind flashes back to the days I when experienced these streets not from the driver’s seat but from the back seat of the mini van.
Back when I was the little one with small control and big questions.
Now I have big control, or at least big responsibility, and the questions have only grown and gained weight. Losing both my parents so quickly stole all my rights to feel like a kid and left behind the awful realization that I can’t “go home again.”
I know that I’m the parent now and I know that the home I’m cultivating will become my own children’s childhood, with all it’s wonders and perhaps all it’s resentment… but still I want to be the kids sometimes, to go home.
Don’t we all? Don’t you?
Most of the time I love my motherhood and I love being the woman of the house… but sometimes? I want to curl up on my mom’s lap and feel her flannel nightgown against my tear-stained cheek.
I long to confess to her that there are moments when I don’t feel like I can do it. And would she tell me it’s okay? And would she please run her fingers through my hair, just a little while longer?
I want ask my Dad why our mini van sometimes shimmies when it’s changing gears, I want to know that he’s there with his dolly to check things out should they go awry. I want to serve him a plate of balsamic pork tenderloin and listen to all the ways he loves his grandchildren.
I’ve moved back home and realized that this Orphaned adult thing is so much harder when you’re constantly driving past the spots where it all fell apart. The house, the train tracks, the cemetery.
I ache for them as I begin to create some of the same memories we made with my own children. I can’t bring myself to visit their graveside yet. Not even on memorial day. There are other spots where they are no longer alive that I must deal with first.
Sometimes, in the middle of the day, sometimes in the middle of a task I fall onto our bed exhausted and pull my knees up to my chest and I feel way too big and not nearly brave enough.