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Going Back To Where You Know Every Street

December 2, 2021

“You know you need to take the next exit
“Yes, Mom.”
“Oh, yeah, I forgot we all used to live here.

I knew exactly what exit to take to reach the Ramada Inn on Martin Way. I’ve driven past it a thousand times. I’m in Lacey, Washington. I know every street and turn.

This is my hometown, but it’s no longer my home. And not just because I don’t live here. For a long time, no matter where I was traveling, or even living this was home. But, things change. I moved to Utah and found a life there. It’s where my kids were born. It’s where they got married. It’s where my grandchildren have been born and died.

My dear mother is here with me. She lived her longer than I did. But, she doesn’t live here anymore. She moved to the warm climate of Phoenix several years ago.

My younger brother still has a business here. He is in the process of selling his CPA firm. He now lives in Idaho. He moved away last year.

My older brother is here too. He now lives in California.

There is one member of my family who lives here, or at least he did until a few weeks ago. My brother Charles passed away in his sleep. We, the rest of the far-flung family are here to bury him.

My dear mother tried to get Charles to move to Phoenix. He didn’t want to leave his home. He lived in a small apartment in Lacey. This was where he grew up. And it was where he wanted to live. And then, it was where he died and will ultimately be buried.

It’s odd going back to where you grew up. Everything is familiar and nothing is the same. There are new buildings, and new roads. There are more people, and fewer friends.

My brother’s ashes will be buried in the Woodlawn Pioneer cemetery a mile from the house I grew up in. It’s the same place our father’s ashes are buried. And our sister. It’s the same place my dear mother will be laid to rest when her time comes. They will be buried not far from their home.

I will stand there on Saturday and bid my brother goodbye. I will say a pray and ask God to welcome him home with open arms. And then I will get in the car and drive away from the place I was raised. The familiar streets and lush green of Western Washington.

After seeing him laid to rest it will be time for me to head for home.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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