I've been in Cleveland for the week for work...pretty much holed up in the hotel/conference center. But tonight the gang and I went out to eat in my old neighborhood with my former co-worker, M. We had a great meal, laughed and rolled our way out to the car. We all piled into Buttercup's SUV and trooped off to Trader Joe's for supplies.
Getting to Trader Joe's meant driving almost past our old house. It really stirred up bittersweetness. Lucy was a baby in that house but we were so isolated. No close friends or family and a house that was sucking the life and money out of us. It was a very tough time emotionally for me for many reasons.
But still...I drive by and recall the sunny Saturday afternoons when the orthodox folks clad in black travelled on foot to Temple past our window. I remember my elderly neighbors' wild flower garden. I had a great little car and we could walk to about any store we needed to go to.
But mostly, it kind of sucked.
And driving past there opened a wound in my heart. Here I am on the road again, yet near some place I once called home. And I don't have Doc or Riley or Lucy with me. It was a pang and a longing. And some pretty deep sadness. We'd really been through the shit there.
I got back to the hotel and logged into Facebook so that I could dive into my photos of the kids and Doc and soak them up until someone picked up the phone at home.
Poor Doc...all hemmed up with a cold and donuts everywhere at work. The kids are pooped...Grandma is pooped. We're all strung out and discombobulated.
But tomorrow, I'll land back in my nest in my cozy home with near my family and friends. I really want to soak it up to, because, in a way, we've really emerged from a tunnel in into that far-distant light. Sure, we may still be essentially broke. But we've got everything we didn't have in Cleveland: good friends, good neighbors, family close by, jobs we like if not love, kids in school and thriving. And I can't remember the last time I felt depressed.
Maybe the force is finally with me...