Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Mother: The Past and Present Reminder

This past Monday, my mother arrived in Colorado to visit with us for week.  The two older boys are loving her being here.  So am I.  She has been my constant companion as I began the season of my life where I am dropping off and picking up my sons from school.  Since they both get out at different times, it has in moments felt like a private taxi service with me being the driver.  Not complaining of course, because since I am a fairly new driver, I need all the driving time I can get to become one with the vehicle and the road.  At least that's my thought.  It's working.  My turns have been less on the wild side lately. 

As I've been driving along the roads of Boulder to and from school, the mountains on all sides of us depending on which direction I'm driving in, it has been nice to have her sitting in the passenger seat next to me.  She is the Bronx to my Boulder (though I have to admit I'll always be a Bronx girl).  I realized today she represents my past...the life we both shared when I was growing up.  She is a die-hard city girl like me, having been born and raised in Manhattan. She moved to the Bronx when she was in her early twenties, when her family decided it was time to own their own home.  And now at seventy, she's still there.

She's the past to my now present.  

I left the car to pick up one son two days ago, with the radio channel on the mainstream/alternative music station playing songs the likes of John Mayer and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty.  When I returned, she had switched the channel to a station playing Motown/soul to the likes of Marvin Gaye and the Stylistics.   Music that I grew up on. That I remember singing the words to when I was four years old walking around our two bedroom apartment that overlooked a major highway in the Southwest Bronx.   Along with old school hip-hop (she had that channel on previous to the Motown/Soul one), this was the music that became part of my DNA as I grew up.   It's been a long while since I connected to that music and other things that were a part of my growing up in New York City, specifically in the Bronx.  

I am a mother now too just like her but living within a different context.  I'm raising children with a husband in a city by the mountains while my mother raised me by herself in an urban metropolis filled with subways and endless, moving people everywhere you went.

Two different worlds.  

She's unfamiliar to my new home now.  Would I be unfamiliar in my old home when I went back East to visit her next time?  A home that was as familiar to me as my own name?

What's that saying?: "You can never go home again"

While driving today I found myself trying to remember the days and years I lived (and worked) in the Bronx.  That was fifteen years ago.  

Though I love my new world, I honestly hope I can go home again as I try to hold on a bit to it through my mother and through my old friends/classmates (and now Facebook friends) from my high school back in the Bronx. 

I am thousands of miles away from that home and yet, I don't want it to be too far from me.  
In my heart, at least.  

Thankfully, I have the living reminder that is my mother.  

How many of you are living far from the hometown you grew up in?  Do you still feel a connection, and is it through family or friends that still live there? Do find yourself remembering your past life there or is it just, in the past?


  1. You are so lucky to have your mom visiting you. I've driven around Boulder, and it is breathtakingly gorgeous to be surrounded by mountains.

    I wonder if the statement "you can't go home again" is untrue. It's true, we can't go home again in the sense that everything will be exactly the same as during childhood. But I feel that home is wherever the people we love are.

  2. Mrs. M.,

    I second that. Home is wherever the people we love are. Because of that belief, I feel like I have several homes now. :-))


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