Emma Kelly and I were frothing at the mouth to get back HOME! To our DOGS! To our BEDS! To our TOYS! To our TV SHOWS! To our FOOD! To our STUFF!!!
We loved loved LOVED visiting family and friends back in South Carolina. Emma Kelly was so excited to hang out with my BFSFG (Best Friend Since Fifth Grade) Tomi Jean’s kids, Jack and Grace. And she was obsessed with going to my childhood home with the ditch in the back yard, and no matter how many times I tried to convey to her that the ditch is long gone, she wasn’t convinced until she saw it for herself. Emma Kelly also tried boiled peanuts for the first time and I am proud to say that SHE LOVED THEM! She wasn’t quite as enamored with a half and half covered in red gravy from Cain’s Barbecue. That would be half barbecue and half chicken bog for those unfamiliar. I, however, was thrilled to have that same old familiar taste in my mouth once again. At least THAT hasn’t changed. Everything else? As the saying goes, you can’t go home again.
I’ve been gone almost two decades. Do you know how much can change in two decades? Do you know how much you FORGET in two decades? I drove Emma Kelly crazy pointing out stuff — “Isn’t that the street where my daycare was?” — only to be corrected by Tomi Jean. “Nope. It’s another two blocks away.” “Isn’t that where so-and-so lived?” “Nuh-uh. It’s the house next door.” “Isn’t that –?” “Afraid not….” Emma Kelly was finally like, “Mommy! Stop it!!”
But the most painful is realizing nobody except your family and your BFSFG gives a crap that you’ve come home. God bless her, every time I go back to visit, Tomi Jean tries to get a group of old friends together to reminisce about the decades gone by. The first time she tried, about 30 of them actually came! The second time, we were down to about 15. This time? Three. THREE!
So I can’t remember where anything is and — blood and BFSFG excluded — nobody cares to remember me. Next vacation? I’m thinking it might not be in the land that I forgot, or worse! It’s the land that forgot me!!