Monday, December 14, 2009
It’s Thanksgiving time again and here I am — back at my parents’ place in Indianapolis. It’s never quite felt like home — not in the way the house in South Bend did. The home I lived in from the time I was 2 until I nearly graduated from grad school. That home had marks on the wall from my impersonations of Mary Lou Retton. The basement carpet had grooves from hours on roller skates pretending I was Dorothy Hamill or the later years - Tonya Harding. (Nancy looked too much like a horse.) The basketball hoop over the garage where every summer I would play outside late in the evening because I was lucky enough to have a street lamp at the end of my driveway. The cold bathroom tile where I broke up a chin when I was 2 and 1/2– my earliest memory - pain then bright lights and then a McDonald’s milkshake — that experience has repeated itself time and time again. The backyard where I played with all my imaginary friends and later mowed a bullseye as a protest to having to mow the yard at all. The spot on the front porch where I stood when my dad told me my great grandmother had passed away. The spot on the edge of my bed where I first saw my dad cry. The top of the stairs where - when following my mom down my sophomore year of high school - i realized she was wasting away to a disease at that time we couldn’t name. The kitchen where once we named the disease - allergy to gluten - she began to eat again without fear. The garage where we ate taco bell dinners for weeks as our kitchen was re-done. My bedroom where I forced my sister to pay to get entry – a sin that I paid for over and over again at South Beach clubs where even a handful of cash wouldn’t get me behind those velvet ropes. The bedroom where I cried the exactly same amount of tears as every teenage girl everywhere, but thought I was all alone. It’s amazing how a place can mean so much. It’s really the family that is most important, but at the same time, physical remainders of where we’ve been, how we’ve loved and been loved, and how much we’ve grown share such an incredible attachment that when you lose them — it’s like you’ve lost a good friend.