The anticipation of going home has become overwhelming, so much so that I decided to quit work early and face the demons I associate with my “paradise lost”. I haven’t been back to Cape Cod in fifteen years. A fall out between my uncle and his wife and myself left me angry and bitter.
You see, if anyone could be in love with a place, I was in love with The Cape. A place of remarkable beauty, white sandy beaches; rich in history and a peaceful ambience, it was loved by all who visited. My love for this place went far beyond its physical and cultural geography to permeate my very sense of being and the deepest, sweetest memories of childhood, friends and family. Cape Cod was not just a place, it was magical.
For years while I waited for the invitation from my grandmother to come home, I planned and organized my life so when the invitation came I would be ready. This was my only purpose, my only dream; to be home, back with my Meme. My grandmother was the closest person to me. She had raised me as a baby and then again from the age of twelve. Besides my girls there was no one more important in my life.
Then in the summer of 1992 it came. My heart was filled with joy, I was finally going home. I worked three jobs and saved more than enough money. Then the last month I rented a U-Hall, scheduled utilities to be turned off, quit my three jobs and was living out of boxes. I was scheduled to leave Tuesday, July 20th, 1993, in time to celebrate my daughters eighth birthday. The Thursday before I was to leave, my uncle called and in one sentence my life would change forever; “your grandmother is dying of cancer and you will not come because you and your daughters would be a bother”. Are you kidding!!!
Devastation was an understatement. My dream was shattered. I had planned for this for seven years. I would in turn loose those last three years with my grandmother. He stole my inheritance, personal possessions, my home, and the remaining few years with my MeMe.
Not long after her passing I never heard from him again and any correspondence was returned to me. I was never able to get over the hurt and betrayal and subsequent anger and bitterness. Oh, I hid it well but it was always lurking to emerge somewhere else – my self-confidence, my ability to trust. If I was really loved, these people wouldn’t have disregarded my heart so devilishly.
This anger and hurt darkened my heart towards the geography of my memories. How could I go home again? How can I go to the home I loved, so full of wonderful memories, knowing I will never see any of my loved ones again? But here I go, back to the place associated with my deepest hurt. And for what…the joy of a wedding.
This should be one of the happiest times for me, my best friend from high school is getting married to a wonderful guy and I’ll get to visit with dear friends, some I haven’t seen in thirty years. Gees, can I really be that old. I remember as a little girl thinking I’d never live to see 30; no one could be that old. Ah the perceptions of a child.
Before anything else, I have to deal with these demons. It’s a grey, dreary, rainy day, much like my heart. I drive down roads I’d driven on many times but this time without the joy of anticipation of seeing family and friends, only with the habit of familiarity. There was no emotion, no excitement. Before, every time I’d just see the Sagamore Bridge and I’d cry with joy the half hour drive to my house with such anticipation and excitement at seeing my grandmother.
Now, nothing seems familiar to my heart. They’ve taken rotaries out of some places, added them to others. The police station is now a visitor’s center and Friendly’s (my favorite restaurant) is gone, actually all of them are gone. My bank is now a gas station. And all this is at one intersection. I know things change quickly on The Cape, but really, is nothing sacred? I Head to my home with bitter sweet emotion. I would have never known the house, it had changed so much. I so much wanted something similar to touch my broken heart, but nothing. Whoever “they” are, they’re right: you can’t go home.
They pain in my head and heart is too much; it’s time to find my friends.
How many losses can a heart take? If we deny the wounds or try to minimize them, we deny a part of our heart and end up living a shallow optimism that frequently becomes a demand that the world be better than it is. On the other hand, if we embrace the Arrows as the final word on life, we despair, which is another way to lose heart. To lose hope has the same effect on our heart as it would be to stop breathing.
John Eldredge, The Sacred Heart, pg 33