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Going Home

There's an old saying; you can't go home again.

Well, what does that really mean? I'm sure most people think it's about moving back into your parents home or revisiting family after a long absence and expecting, or at least hoping everything would be just like it used to be. I suppose that's one way to look at it.

I'm sure there are other scenarios that come to mind for many. I also think there are those who don't want to revisit 'home' or their past lives whether it refers to family or not. Perhaps that's why home isn't a place to revisit.

For me it takes on a different aspect. I've never been one to be tied to places or things. I've lived in several houses from childhood to adulthood. All of them have been 'home', but I don't have a longing to return to a specific place. It's like things, I'm not tied to specific things or items like personal belongings or cars. I simply don't wrap my identity around the tangible world. Houses are not my home, people from my past are my home.

I don't think that has ever been driven 'home' to me more so than it has recently. Although I have long time friends from school that I haven't seen in years there are several I could sit down with and have a conversation like I saw them a week ago. But I didn't grow up around them. We lived sort of off on our own from my school friends. None of them lived in my neighborhood. There, I had another group, two specifically that were like family and in the last month or so I have had the chance to reconnect with one of them.

Billy. I haven't seen him in years. We lost track of each other at some point in high school. He went off to the closest public school and I off to the Catholic school. Recently through the magic of Facebook we have been able to reconnect. To me, even though we are older, wiser and both grandfathers, it's almost like we were never away from each other. I can still hear his infectious laugh. Back in those days there were few times we weren't around each other. We rode our bicycles all over the place. We'd ride for miles and miles away from home even into surrounding suburbs. In those days no kid would have worn a helmet and our parents 'kinda' knew where we were...sort of. We ate meals at each other's home and slept out in tents in the back yard. Gee, no mischief to get into doing that.

We are different people than we were back in those days, obviously, our childhood up to early teen years. He is a successful entrepreneur who has built his own company and lives in a big city on the east coast. I live near where I grew up and have lived a comfortable life. There is one characteristic that I haven't mentioned; Billy is a Black man and I am a White man. Guess what, we were Black and White back then too. His was the first Black family that I can remember to move into our neighborhood. That was a shock to many who lived on the block and I'm sure his family felt the sting of that reality more than he ever recounted to me.

But that single fact never affected our friendship. We were nearly brothers for those years and reconnecting with him after all this time is really the point of this ramble. Some day we will get together, I have no doubt of that and when we do I know we'll be able to pick up a conversation like we saw each other two weeks ago.

My parents are long ago deceased and I miss them dearly, but to me, that is what it means to me to go home again.

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