My nephew Kyle is kissing his son Brandon in the living room. Mom is getting dressed and my sister Chris is shopping. I had gone to the store a while ago and returned with Howling Wolf, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Drifters and more. It is the day after my mother’s 90th birthday And a day of travel for me that I would not wish on anyone.
It began with my sweet Lizzy dropping me off at the airport at 10:30 AM and ended with my arrival at midnight. It was a day of flight cancellations, a rented car and putting the phone on my lap while talking to Chris as she gave me directions to the house. Don’t it make you wanna go home? There are all kinds of stories and songs about the impact of home on our lives. Due to a simple twist of fate that included the decline of hometown economy, white flight and alcoholism, it was necessary for so many us to grow up and move far away. East, west, north and south. We had to survive. If you can’t find a decent job asd it seems like there is no place for you, then it’s necessary to go somewhere else and make a new start.
Kyle lives in Brooklyn, plays music and lives with his son and a wonderful woman. He is a father now in his early 40’s. The last time I had seen him he was probably a teenager. The first things about him that I noticed was his fingers, the kind that scream guitar player or pianist. He is also the more talkative of my sister Chris’ sons. The other thing I was struck by was that the dreadlocks were gone. If you check on my facebook page, you can find pictures of him as a young man wearing dreads. Don’t it make you want to go home?
I told Kyle about how much a phone conversation I had with him years ago had meant to me. He had been born after my younger brother James died but he took time to connect with James, looking at the things he had written. By talking with him, I learned things that I had not learned from his brother John. I filled in some blanks that he might have had concerning me. And I gave him my one piece of advice, which is not to wait to pursue your dreams. You look up and find that years have passed and it seems that something has been lost from those dreams.
I have almost completely snow white hair but when I first left home, degree in hand, I was still discovering my identity. We have been away from one another far too long but I am hoping we will be in each other’s lives a lot more from now on. Don’t it make you want to go home?