More than most family occasions, weddings and funerals take us home. I’ve lived over six-hundred miles away from my childhood hometown of Palermo, New York for fifty-one years, but it’s still “home.” My husband and I have made our way up Route 81 to central New York many times through the years. By car, the journey takes twelve hours or more, a fact that distressed our children when they were young. In those days, there were no electronic devices to keep them entertained.
As I write this blog, my husband and I are headed back to Williamsburg, Virginia after attending our nephew’s beautiful wedding in Skaneateles. In case you’re wondering, let me assure you I’m not operating the vehicle.
Now that my parents are deceased, we no longer return to the homestead in Palermo where I grew up. Rather, we stay with one sibling or another. With the change in venue, the experience is quite different, but home will always be home.
Lately, I’ve been writing a memoir consisting of vignettes about my childhood on our dairy farm. During our stay with my sister and brother-in-law, I asked my sister to read some of the stories and verify the accuracy of my recorded memories. Later, I’ll submit them to my brothers for review.
In some cases, my sister and I, only two years apart in age, remembered the events quite differently. In other cases, we shared a similar perspective. Whatever the extent of our recall, we enjoyed reminiscing about people, places and events that characterized the life to which only a sibling can fully relate.
Going home is unique to each person, and it isn’t always a positive experience. In my upcoming novel, I Want to Go Home, Abby and her brothers run away from all that is familiar. While they are on the run, they long to go home. Yet, home is nothing like it once was. Their father has died, they have lost their house, and their mother has succumbed to alcoholism. Yet, as they experience homelessness, hunger, and fear they yearn to go “home.” The desire to return to our roots seems to be instinctive, even if those roots have changed significantly from what we once knew.
Cindy L. Freeman is the author of two award-winning short stories and three published novels: Diary in the Attic, Unrevealed and The Dark Room. Website: www.cindylfreeman.com; Facebook page: Cindy Loomis Freeman. Her books are available through amazon.com or hightidepublications.com