So this is a few weeks late.
Maybe. Sort of. I don’t know.
The thing is, it’s actually decidedly un-funny, and so, so very not the persona I propagate.
Almost two weeks ago a pain beyond comprehension struck a family I am acquainted with, and there hasn’t been a moment in the weeks since I haven’t felt the weight of what it means to them.
It isn’t my pain to put on paper – it isn’t something I feel I even have a right to speak of. I respect them beyond what my words could express, and I will leave that for them, and those far closer to them than me.
What I know is that, in these past two weeks, I have been more grateful to be home than I knew possible. To be in this town that molded me and cradled me and raised me. This place that released me with good wishes and all the best parts of itself to take with me. That welcomed my selfish, thankless self back to let my kid run in open green spaces and my husband live golf course adjacent while I ridicule and mock.
The familiarity, the dear friends, the safety and connection and strength – I have closed my eyes each night in the past days, holding my son’s sweet, soft head of hair against my face in the glow of his nursery night light – and I have thanked God that I am home right now… and that I am blessed to feel what home is.
It’s not funny. It’s not tough. It is as “un-Keri” as it gets.
When I was 20 I was lamenting my piss poor decision to give up my partial scholarship to an out-of-state University and stay here. I was young and cocky and kicking around culinary school (and dropping out of that too,) and closerthanthis to heading right on off to the school I thought I had pissed away after high school.
In short – screw this state. Buh-bye parents, need you not, says “Adult” Keri.
Within the year I was blind in one eye and walking with a cane. I was also –thanks to the strength and determination of my ridiculously awesome parents – starting a promising treatment for my newly diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis. Because I wasn’t hundreds of miles away.
I was right where I was supposed to be, even if I didn’t like it one tiny bit.
Tonight, and for the past weeks, I’ve known that feeling again. I’ve watched my kid spending time with my afore-mentioned awesome parents (who are now the most stupidly amazing grandparents any kid could EVER have); I’ve sat with my husband, leaning over to rest on his strength, in our comfortable haven of a home; I’ve gone back to places I know are of comfort – both from my past and those that I have found to welcome me in our new life here.
I have found strength in the familiarity of my community. Calm in the knowledge that regardless of if we have talked that day or not, my oldest friend is currently less than a mile away. Comfort in the simple act of packing up Jr and lunch and stopping in to sit and chat and just be at my family’s company with my parents in the surroundings I know so well.
I can (and I will – it’s still me – ) jest frequently about my observations. I can’t be who I am in my core and NOT feel a pull to the city I loved so much.
For goodness sakes that would be the end of Reluctantly Suburban Keri – and that is like an end to the concept of cocktail hour – it fades a bit but it will NEVER truly go.
But still. At this moment I understand, very truly well, why it is that I am here.
I am grateful.
So this is a few weeks late.