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Going Home

October 15, 2009

Just about a month ago, I went home. It had been several years since I visited my hometown of London, Ontario, Canada. More than 10 years ago, with four kids in tow, ranging in age from 2 to 13, we left family and friends behind and headed south. We’ve lived in the suburbs of Atlanta ever since.

During the past decade we’ve had plenty of visits from family. Escaping the cold winters of Canada, my mother-in-law enjoyed spending Christmas here with us. My sister has declared Thanksgiving the perfect time to visit Atlanta, as long as she can sneak away from the rigors of her own busy life to come and stay. My mom enjoys Atlanta in the spring. After a long winter, she loves to come and plant my gardens and go for walks through the neighborhood. Everyone comes to me, and I love sharing my life here in the U.S. with them.

I thought I was pretty “caught up” on my family time this year as everyone, except my dad, was here to see my oldest son get married.

Just about a month ago, my mother-in-law passed away suddenly. Before we knew it, we were on our way home.

The lyrics to a well-know Bon Jovi song say:

“Who says you can’t go home?
There’s only one place that call me one of
their own

Every step I take, I know that I’m not alone
You take the home from the
boy but not the boy from his home
These are my streets, the only life I’ve
ever known
Who says you can’t go home?”

Breakfast with my dad. Sitting outside my mom’s new home, watching the world go by. Going dress shopping with my sister, Michelle. Dining out with family at my favorite chicken place, Swiss Chalet. Going to Tim Hortons for the best coffee in the universe.

Just walking through the familiar streets of downtown London, visiting the Garden Market, strolling through the parks, I was overcome with the feeling of home. A feeling that all was right in that moment.

Familarity is a funny thing. I left home all those years ago in search of something new and exciting. And my life is good. But when I was home, surrounded by the sights and sounds of my past, I felt like me. And, like the song says, there is this feeling that you are not alone. That you are in a place where they call you their own. No matter how long you’ve been gone.

The people who knew me when, they embraced me just as though I had never left. Without hesitation we fell into the familiar rhythm. And the streets. They are mine. They may be a little run down now (aren’t we all?), but they hold the memories of my youth. They provided me the path to something new, but always welcome me home.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 9, 2009 3:05 am

    First I will say, sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. That kind of thing is never a good reason to have to go anywhere, especially home.

    But if I may, on a lighter note say, not only do I LOVE LOVE LOVE Canada, but I am HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE with Swiss Chalet!!! I think we first discovered it in Nova Scotia….might have been Newfoundland, but I think it was Nova Scotia. Good stuff, I tell you!!!

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