I’ve had this ache in my chest for the last six years. An ache that I just assumed would always be there. An ache and desire to live back in my childhood neighborhood, the place I never stopped calling home. An ache to know the streets like the back of my hand again and to be close to my family. It’s not an overwhelming pain, just a little psychological nudge that I would get every time I drove to my parents house, took a walk through a store that I used to frequent, or most recently, every Saturday that I’ve spent sorting through eighty years worth family history.
I had a rough morning today. I am just reaching the end of my capacity to handle all of the things going on around us lately. It’s getting harder to get up and jump out of bed ready to attack the day. Our house is a mess, half of our belongings are packed in boxes that are stacked floor to ceiling in my office, my team is coming up on our biggest event of the year next week, and the thought of just curling up in bed and sleeping away the next ten days has gotten more appealing everyday. Normally, I can keep it together in the midst of the chaos, usually I thrive in it. Today my stress manifested itself in a way that I couldn’t ignore. A breakdown at home before leaving for work that left my husband telling me to just take it “one day at a time”. Emi-holic. In less than twenty minutes I bucked up, got ready and got in the car for the half an hour drive to where my morning meeting was supposed to be. I was on time, early even. I got inside, walked into the meeting space to find an empty room. Thinking I was just at the wrong room I thumbed through my e-mails from yesterday looking for my reminder that I received. The meeting was, indeed, yesterday. All in all, not a huge transgression to try and remedy, it happens but I felt lost and embarrassed. I didn’t want to be the person that was 24 hours late. I walked back to my car, avoiding eye contact with the woman that had just directed me toward my room, I leaned my head on the headrest, closed my eyes, and just sat there for a few minutes. I felt like my entire morning was just aimless and a waste of time. I needed to be productive, and driving 30 minutes back to the office wasn’t going to cut it. Instead, I listened to the ache that’s been slowly creeping back up into my life.
I drove the ten minutes to the neighborhood I grew up in, soon to be my neighborhood. I pulled into the Tim Hortons across the street from where my mom works, ordered my usual and sat down with my laptop, headphones, and “Drift” playlist. From my seat by the window I could see my mom’s car in the parking lot at work. I felt like I was at home. Finally, I felt like I wasn’t just wandering around looking for my place in the day.
I know I can’t do everything myself, but for those of you that know me well, you know that I am damn well going to try. I have two weeks left. Two weeks until we are moved into our new home and I am back in the place that I call home. This move has been more intensive and stressful than I had originally anticipated but I could never been anything but grateful for the opportunity that my grandma has given us. She surely doesn’t understand the underlying comfort that she has offered us, me especially by allowing us to live in her house while Justin goes through and recovers from treatment. There is the obvious help of being closer to our families and the hospital, the obvious financial burden being lifted, and the benefit of having more space, but she has no idea how moving back to this neighborhood is like a new start for us. It is, undoubtedly, an opportunity to rebuild our fight and to relieve the ache. I don’t have the words to describe the depth of my gratitude for her generosity and kindness.
In two weeks I get to go home and I get to share it with my husband.