Thursday, September 15, 2011

Once More Around the Park

I'm packing my bags to leave my childhood home and return to my adult home.

Getting ready once again to leave the home of my youth never gets easier, especially as our beloved parents get older. It's really true that every pillow in their home, every painting on the wall and every familiar stack of papers, exactly where you stacked papers 30 years ago is precious. Really.
But the thing that started my tears flowing this morning was my park.
I woke up this morning figuring Once More Around the Park. But the second I saw the seal and its familiar spray of water, I started my own water fountain. Here in this park I played tennis as a kid, I hung out as a teenager while the boys played basketball, and I brought my own children to the playground to run the maze, climb the fortress and swing endlessly.
I can't count how many little league games I watched here and how many days I just sat by the bay and watched the planes fly by.
I'll miss this park. Not because of the great expanses of emerald green grass or the cute golf carts or water park recreation area. But I'll miss it for all it represents - the smiles and tears of my childhood, the endless energy and constant state of teenage exhilaration, and the memories of my own children - so magnificent, so happy, so sweet, so colorful, so innocent - climbing trees and jungle gyms and running after the Canadian geese. I miss my young husband and his camera- climbing high to get the right shot. I miss my little nephews who were always there with a baseball glove and ball. I miss my babies and my youth. I miss my friends and their laughter and hugs. But most of all as I look at this park with decades of eyes, I miss my mother, may she Live and be well until 120. My mother who never missed a family moment in the park, at the pond with the ducks or any moment. My mother who sat on the bench with eight jackets piled in her arms just in case someone might get cold. I miss my mother - young and beautiful and always there.
Well she's still beautiful and still ready to go go go, B'H, but she (and my dear siblings and I) has earned her wrinkles, and I'm getting a little (very) emotional.
May Hashem put His shield of Abraham around my mother and my loved ones always.
I'd better finish my walk or they'll send the posse our after me.
So they say you can't go home again. You can, but make sure you bring a lot of tissues.

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