“You know they say, you can’t go home again. But I just want to come back one last time.”
As my brain had already checked me out of life in May, 2018, but before anyone knew what was going on, Sean took me and the kids to Bowman for the weekend. He hoped it would comfort me to spend some time with my parents in their house, just outside of the small town where I grew up. On that Saturday, Mom, Dad, and I took a little drive down red gravel roads in Dad’s black truck. We drove eight miles outside of town, to my childhood home. It was the only time that dreary weekend that I remember a little of myself coming out of my darkness.
I hadn’t been home in ten years before that day. Not since my parents moved. I had purposefully stayed away from the farm that built me.
The farm that taught me about hard work. The farm that drove me to swear I’d never be “poor” and “bored.” The farm that in hindsight was where everything happened to me for the eighteen years I first knew life. The tree that stands alone right before the tiny hill. The road I ran, biked, or dribbled a ball over probably a million times in my days of solitude miles away from others.
I don’t know exactly what I saw that May day. I can’t remember. But I know it was about the only thing that gave me solace in a time where nothing else did. In that time where I had regressed to carrying a security blanket. I remember only a little of the feeling. The feelings that remain more than memories.
I’ve tried to take back my memories, but I know it’s not the cure for everything. And once I added in panic attacks, I’m still a little shy about pushing too hard, for fear of what could push back at me. But I had to do this, I had to do it again.
I gulped. Prayed. And told myself: It’s time, try it again. The three of us will go once more.
So Dad, Mom, and I loaded up, and traveled back down those red gravel roads. But we eased in. We didn’t go home, because that home is no longer there. The little room where I did my homework, is someone else’s home now, in another place. The last time I saw it from a distance, was that fateful May day in 2018.
We opened up the ragged barbed wire fence, politely asked the cows to step aside, and drove up to the little hill with the big tower. A tower I saw day in and out for my formative years. As I balanced on a rock and looked out over the land so vast you swear you can see fields forever, I told myself: You’re home again. This will always be home. The place with Mom and Dad.
No panic. No triggers. Just the three of us. Now another happy memory.
I took it back.
As we move into the holiday season, Godspeed to you on your travels home, wherever that may be.
“I know they say you can’t go home again I just had to come back one last time
Ma’am, I know you don’t know me from Adam But these hand prints on the front steps are mine
“I thought if I could touch this place or feel it This brokenness inside me might start healing Out here it’s like I'm someone else I thought that maybe I could find myself
“If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave Won’t take nothin’ but a memory From the house that built me” ~ The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert