My mother died twenty years ago today.
She loved going up to Penn State. We always joked that the the Ebensburg Burger King was the Point of No Return... exactly half way, at the time, between home and State College. She and my Dad would assess the weather and if it was too bad they would turn back. More often than not - they would keep going.
I've made that trip more than I thought I would in the past few years... moving Lizzie in and out and bringing Katherine back and forth a zillion times. We were back up there today.
Every time - it feels like home.
There's something about the air there. I don't know. It's filled with promise and adventure and nostalgia... and the sweet smell of CCPeppers on your fingers.
Over the years, I've come to order a Coast to Coast instead of my usual Philly. I've tried mayo on a Philly and it's just not the same so I get a Coast to Coast and take most of the lettuce and tomato off - it's something about the ratio, I guess, of ingredients... sorry, my thoughts are wandering. ;-)
Anyway, this isn't really about cheesesteaks or dead mothers, though they do play a big, big part in my life.
Other Joe and I had a little heart to heart in the car this morning about rekindling relationships, when we got there we would silently acknowledge the sadness in the room and reminisced about Tracy Chapman songs... he said that whenever there's an adult in the room and Fast Cars comes on they always tell him a story.
I told him mine.
When we were coming back without Katherine but with bags of her stuff in the car I said to Chrissy that I kind of got the best of both worlds... I went through all the college kid stuff but didn't have to pay the tuition bill. ;-)
This was hanging in the bedroom from a movie I completely forgot about until I saw the poster.
Every time I would walk in and out of the bedroom I would see that tag line and wonder - does walking away from everything and erasing your past really give you what you are looking for?
Is it possible to reawaken to your life without getting rid of and abandoning everything that surrounds you?
Like your spouse...
... or your dog...
... or your family...
... or your bills...
... or your job...
... or your home...
When you think about it, I guess life really is about cheesesteaks and dead mothers for a lot of people. I'll be honest, I do sometimes wish I could forget everything but, truth is, I know I wouldn't like it very much. I usually just wish the one that one that was with me through it all (the sunshine and the rain) was still there. That may be silly to some, after all this time, but it's true. For now, I just have to figure out a way to be happy in this in-between place.