Coming Home

I was finally able to move out when my mom passed away.

It didn’t matter if I had a good job, and it wouldn’t have mattered if I had found a good marriage partner. Moving out would be futile. My mom would probably have called me every day. She might ask how the weather was, or how my day at work went. She probably would have asked for help with the computer, because it always seemed as if she forgot everything I taught her. I couldn’t move too far away, because she would likely ask for me to drive over to figure out what’s wrong with her computer. She would even ask me to go places with her, to see a movie in the theater or a musical on stage, or maybe attend one of her senior citizen luncheons.

When I moved, it wasn’t across town, or to the nearest city. I crossed state lines into New Jersey from the Syracuse area of New York State. At the time, I had a boyfriend who lived in northern New Jersey. I didn’t want to continue a long distance relationship, but I wasn’t going to move in with him because we only knew each other for a few months. So I followed my heart, packed up as much of my life as I could, and drove over three hours away from home.

Two years later, I found myself packing up everything by myself. My boyfriend became my fiancé, then a year later he broke my heart instead of trying to work through our issues. He left me with more than just one mess, as there was trash lying around the apartment and there was every thought and emotion passing through my head and heart. Even if things had been different, there was no way I could stay in the apartment, and there was no way I could stay in New Jersey.

Fate brought me back to the Syracuse area, and just in time for winter.

I came back when the leaves were near the peak of their autumn transformation, when the emeralds gave way to the amber and ruby hues. I went apple-picking with friends at a well-known orchard that has an amazing view. I felt like I had been away for the longest time, to the point where everything was new to me despite the feeling of familiarity. I also felt incredibly happy, because in spite of everything that happened which caused me to return to the area, there was the hope that the worst things were temporary and would be replaced by good things.

I visited my parents’ grave in mid-November, and started crying as soon as I got out of the car. My original hope was to not return to Syracuse except for holidays or other temporary circumstances, yet here I was. I felt like a failure, a disappointment. I didn’t find a guy who would love me through good times and bad, and in hindsight I chose one I didn’t really want to stay with for the long haul. I bet everything on that relationship, and it failed. I stared at my parents’ wedding date which was ingraved on their stone, and I did the math in my head, only to realize that my mom was already married to my dad when she was my age. I’ve got little more than five years before I’ll be the same age as she was when she had me. Thoughts like that didn’t help my mood, because I was not only sad since they’re not still around to talk, and then I was putting timers on my life and telling myself that I’m running out of time.

Mom would probably be thankful that I was back in the area. After all, who else was going to help her figure out what to do with Windows 10? In spite of my disappointment, she would probably be glad I was single again, and would tell me that someone better is out there. I needed to leave the area for a while, to find myself and to nurture the relationship I had. I needed to come back to my home turf, to familiar grounds, familiar people, and a newfound appreciation for everything I’ve known so far.

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