Friday, July 04, 2008

Going Home

About two weeks ago I headed back to Cleveland for my mother's 80th birthday celebration. All in all, the weekend went well, and I was thankful that my Mom was able to enjoy the milestone in relatively good health. But I did get a taste of deja vu, when I rode with my older brother (who I hadn't seen in about 5 years), out to the cemetery where our father is buried. Somehow he made a wrong turn and we wound up taking a circuitous route before we eventually found the right exit. The highways and exits had changed in the 20+ years we'd been away, and when D asked me where he should get off the highway, I made an educated guess--which turned out to be wrong.

As my brother's frustration grew, I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Suddenly I was 8 or 10, trying not to piss him off, even though he generally seemed pissed off by my very existence. (He'd been an only child for 5 years, and never really got over the intrusion when I showed up on the scene). Fortunately, we did get there after a 10-minute detour, and the past receded into the background.

Still, I was reminded of how uncomfortable I often felt growing up in my family of origin...and how I can still revisit those feelings on occasion.

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