If you read Updates, Life you’ll know I that the last time I stayed in Delaware, Ohio was during a difficult transition in my life. I went there to lean on my parents for emotional, health and financial support, and hoped to get a job there. Life does not always work out the way we plan it though, and can have other things in store for us. This was no exception.
December 2014 I moved to Chicago, and everything changed. I felt empowered again. I had a new job, I was surrounded by friends, and over the months found a few doctors to support me. This is far from over, but I’m glad I made the leap.
Last month I decided to come “home”–is that what you call your parent’s home you never grew up in?–for Mom’s birthday. I wanted to give her a special gift and since we both missed each other, I knew that gift was me. After moving much the past few years I can’t really afford to travel much beyond a few bus trips to other states maybe, but if there’s one thing I treasure it’s birthdays.
The trip began with a fiasco. Megabus changed it’s bus stop in March, without any alert. Since they don’t have a real station or address, I was waiting a few minutes away “between the corner of Van Buren and Canal.” By the time I saw the Columbus bus turn the corner of the light and I had two people asking where the bus stop was, it was too late to run after it. I called Megabus, who claimed they updated the stop on their site (with ambiguous street corners, try being direct and saying you changed the stop, Megabus). Then I called Mom, upset, and worse, snapped at her when she tried to get me to buy a ticket on Greyhound that she was seeing but I was not. Happy birthday Mom. At that point I had already requested a couple days off work, packed my suitcase, told all my friends, and invested in the idea of going. I was planning on actually buying Mom a gift, but since I had to buy another ticket I told her that was her present, that I was still coming. At that point all I could focus on was making it.
This time I left an hour and a half early, and ended up getting on the bus half an hour before leave time. The day was brighter and I felt more optimistic. On the way there I even got to work on my short story and read some of Carl Jung’s “Red Book,” as well as transcribe notes on the Haitian Voudou exhibit at the Field Museum. It was almost meant to be because I would have forgotten to bring my story the first time, and I really wanted to take advantage of the bus time to work on it.
There was one other complication; there was a massive sports crowd in all red shirts flooding out of Ohio State, and traffic kept us on the same three blocks for an hour. Mom kept calling me about when I was going to get there; we ended up being an hour and a half late. Happy birthday Mom.
It was another hour drive from downtown Columbus to Delaware, during which I chatted with my parents and read more of the “Red Book.” I told them I regretted not having the full day to spend with them like I was supposed to, but I was just happy to be with them finally and enjoy the next full two days together and see Peluche.
As soon as I walked through the door, Peluche walked up to me and asked expectantly for food, as though I had never been away. Mom prepared a healthy home cooked meal, and I was relieved to enter a clean, domestic space I didn’t have to take care of. In that warm moment I saw the appeal of why I wanted to stay there in the first place. That if perhaps if it was always like this I really would have liked to stay. My room was still my room there. It was funny how we slipped into our routines right away, as though I had never left; I went to my room and took more notes on the Red Book, Dad went downstairs to the library/studio, and Mom did her “imanes” (magnet healing) in the downstairs workout/living room before she came back up and chatted with me for a while before bed.