Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In the Leaving

There is a going and a coming. A leaving and a returning. There are tears on both ends of the journey. I know. It has been the story of my life.

I had no intention of ever leaving Neff Road. I loved being from Franklin Township. The people who lived on our road, and those went to our church, those who were part of our community, were people I about whom I cared deeply. Yet there are those of us who for whatever reason were taken away from Neff Road. College, marriage, military service, jobs. The list goes on.

My parents never left Neff Road. They never had to make that adjustment of moving to another place, that adjustment of living away from all family. They never had to start all over again and have their babies far away from the family core. They were born, lived, raised children and died on Neff Road. They never completely understood.

Sometimes I think it is good to move away from where you live if even for a little while. It challenges you in new ways. It let's you know you can survive and be happy elsewhere. It makes home all that much more special when you return.

Often I've been asked why I don't move back to my roots. I must say that I have been tempted over the years. My parents rarely went to see their children thus seeing their grandchildren only a couple times a year if lucky. They would never move close to one of their daughters even after retirement. We all wanted them. We missed them terribly and wanted them to be part of our lives. Jobs held us fast to our locations. I made a pact with myself many years ago. I decided that my home would always be near my children. Wherever they went, I would one day follow. My children had no grandparents around. I would not deny my grandchildren the same.

Do I miss Neff Road? Oh, every day with all my heart. Yet I carry it with me wherever I go and return as often as possible. We can never return the same as when we left. Perhaps it is because we see things so differently. The feelings for relationships, the land, the experiences we took for granted in our youth are all much stronger when we return. When I return, I spend time holding hands of those I love as we talk of old times and people now gone. I want to pass on the love and gratitude I have for each and every one of them. I do not take for granted those things that are Neff Road for I know they are a gift and only here for awhile.

We come, and we go. Tears are shed in the returning and leaving. It is always the same. But as I age, I know with all my heart that even though we all leave at some time, we will all be home together  again.

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