Today I went to visit my mom for the day, and returned to the house where I had spent the majority of my childhood. My mom took me to lunch at my friends restaurant. When we walked in, we were seated immediately, though nobody from my home town seemed to recognize me.
My friend who owned the restaurant asked me if I was okay, as she hadn’t seen me post any recent updates on Facebook. I explained that yes, I was doing just fine and that she wouldn’t see any status updates as I had deleted my social media awhile ago. She could see the pain in my eyes and asked me a second time if I was really okay. Her sideways glance as she looked at me made me realize her sincere concern.
I explained that although I had indeed moved away and seldom return, in a sea full of oysters, I finally found my pearl. These past few years, I’ve had numerous friends cut ties with me, some offering a parting insult as they leave my life, while others simply vanish like a ghost in the night. Amelia and I have each other, and she my best friend, my muse, and the love of my life.
My friend told me that in the years since I had moved away, what I had done for the community during the early years of my career had not been forgotten, and that I had left my home town an unsung hero. I never perceived myself as being a hero; I was simply doing my job to the best of my ability, as this was the expectation.
After dinner, I said goodbye to my mom, and left my childhood home. Driving home in my car, as the day turned into night, I thought about what my friend told me when I was having lunch at her restaurant. I started crying with tears of joy, realizing that in the years since I’ve been away, while I might have been out of sight, I might never be out of mind. It was then that I realized that although my past is a concrete corridor, my future is still wide open and unwritten.
January 24, 2023