I have been visiting my mother about twice a year for the last thirty years. The last few years, it has been difficult going by childhood home. It went into disrepair and for a while we thought they might need to tear it down. Then someone purchased it and started to fix it back up. Then for a while that stopped too. So over a period of a couple of years thing went very bad, then better, then bad, then better again and it was put up for sale.
Mom can’t drive anymore, so I was playing chauffeur on this visit. We had been driving around old areas and she commented sadly how much she missed dad. When driving by our old home she noticed the for sale sign wasn’t in the yard anymore, so we pulled in the driveway and were just looking at the general condition and trying to see if there were any signs that the house was occupied. I noticed a small red pickup pulled up behind the garage, but didn’t think anyone was there. I started to back out and when I turned around, the truck was next to us.
At that point you have to say something, right? Since we had been sitting in the driveway for several minutes, it was obvious we weren’t just randomly stopping. I explained that we didn’t mean to intrude, but that I had grown up there and that my father had built this house, and introduced my mother. We mentioned that we had seen it fall into disrepair and just stopped to admire the improvements. He invited us to come in and see the house. He gave us a tour. I was pleased to see that the bedrooms still had the hardword floors that my father had laid himself. Much of the house was still the same. The damage that had ensued during the years when the house was vacant had been repaired. And when we were leaving I commented about where dad used to park his school bus. To which the man replied that he was a school bus driver.
That brief tour was the highlight of my trip this year. And it vastly improved my mom’s mood. She has had a difficult year. Three surgeries, three months in rehap, an episode where we nearly lost her, and losing the ability to drive. That man will never know what the kindness he showed meant to her. I would like to get the street address to send him a ard thank him (the addresses in that area have all changed).
Who says you can’t go home again? For a few minutes, I did.