Today, he leaves on the trip of a lifetime, and I don’t expect he will return in one piece.
Going home for the first time in 40 years rarely returns the same person.
Things change. People change. Stories change. And his youthful life on a now abandoned small town Colorado farm, is liable to answer many questions he would rather not. But it’s time to grow up. And he is driven.
Ignorance is bliss when you are a child. As a grown man decades later, ignorance loses the soothing capacity that makes a difficult life bearable at 10 years old. Truth tends to sour the sweet, connecting family dots in a way that never made sense at 10, but every sense for a 50 year old in need of answers.
Going home again breaks family secrets, exposing well-intended protective lies which have haunted him with so many questions he’s compelled to answer before their depositions are unavailable and it’s too late to correct history.
So he’s going home.
Like so many, we grow up with fond recollections of being normal but a persistent, grating curiosity about the real truths behind them that we’ll address on a better day somewhere, somehow, sometime. But time is not the great healer it promises to be. So many events of our lives are proudly recalled in cocktail conversations which should end the unnerving, silent question marks hidden from others and ourselves because we just want to fit in and be normal and for them to just go away.
But forty years later, we are no more normal than we’d chosen to believe all these years, and living with those nagging inconsistencies drags us back to the place of their birth for a private intervention that will very likely put us in pieces on the floor of an abandoned farmhouse, alone asking all the whys of no one there to answer.
Go home, good friend.
And when you return, I’ll be here to help you pick up the pieces and reassemble your once favorite stories in a painful new narrative of truth that hurts so much but heals so much more.
I’ll still be here with no better answers but to help unpack the discoveries of your new baggage and put it all away for good.