I wasn’t sure what to expect, 20 years is a long time, and truth be told I’d not acknowledge the fact that 20 years had gone by! Some where in my mind it’s only been about 5 since I’d crossed the threshold of Oberlin High School, never to return…
I flew into the area, picked up my Ford Focus Rental Ride, dropped my kids with my niece and nephew and prepared myself for a meet and greet at the town Inn.
As we rolled into town my mind and heart were flooded with so many memories, every childhood crush, twist and turn flashed before my heart.
Then the big one my house, the house I last lived in before the series of accidents that tore down the walls of who I’d been, leaving only the foundation for me to build upon with my own sought out materials.
As we pulled into the driveway my heart sank and I returned to the last time I’d sat in front of that house.
It’d been about 10 years since leaving high school, Nicole (my older sister) and I had ridden into Oberlin to hang out for the day.
I’d looked up from the street and noticed one single candle burning in my bedroom window.
I said “Nicole, it’s a sign…We’ve got to knock on the door and see if who ever lives here will let us in, just for a minute.”
She agreed, we walked to the back door. As we reached up to knock my knees shook with anxiety. A lady came to the door, peering through the window, I noticed her eyes were red with tears.
My sister began to explain to her who we were, this made the lady sob! She said “I know who you both are, do you know who I am?”
No we answered, come in she said.
As we stepped into the the kitchen I too fell apart, I was home.
I had been out wandering for 10 years searching for a place to belong and for that brief moment I was standing in the exact place my mother had last hugged me.
Now the three of us sat on the kitchen floor, weeping together.
The lady apologized for her tears she said she’d been upstairs having a bit of a sad day herself, then she explained to us who she was. “I was the nurse on duty the night your mom came in, I knew she wasn’t going to make it, I also knew she had the three of you at home. I really tried to help save her.”
I then told her how I’d thought the candle in the window of my old bedroom was a sign for us to knock on the door.
She stared off speaking in just above a whisper ” Your old room was my sons room, he was hit by a car and killed 6 months ago. The candle is to keep his soul from getting lost, guiding him home.”
I looked directly into her eyes, it works…it brought us here.
Then I went upstairs and sat on his bed in our old room…praying and remembering.
Coming back from this memory I heard Nicole ask if I wanted to knock again, no I’m good I said.
As we motored through town my “Hi I’m Good Enough” was trying to take the wheel.
There is something about class reunions that get us all tied up inside, maybe it is our “Hi I’m Good Enough” or should I say “Hi Was I Good Enough Then?”
What ever it is there is a tension within, one that makes you say “do I really want to do this?”
All of that over thinking STOPPED the moment I walked through the doors, looking into the faces of the 60 kids I’d know since 1st grade.
To Be Continued….