Harder than expected

Crossing the bridge
Windows cracked open
Involuntary, deep inhale
Cells expand
Take in salt air
Absorb element, long deficient

Familiar smell
Familiar sight

Tears  falling

Nine years, it has been
Nine years away
Nine years with no reason to return

Forty years passed
Returning for this

A return to childhood
For childhood

Driving by rote
Whitestone to Grand Central
To Northern State

The choice
Exit for 135 and the path of adulthood
Or that of childhood
Childhood it is

Not just about mom and the last goodbye
This trip
About me

Tears make it hard to drive

When we were a family
I am small in the back seat next to Amy
Dad’s voice
“Do we take the Pretty Way?”
The Pretty Way it is

Then Cold Spring Harbor
Recalling younger adult self
Mom’s place
Bea’s place
Bubbie’s place
Drive through
Sobs catching
Too hard

And reentry

An important trip, this
Moments to re-meet the past
Rebalance myself

Beach time on a perfect day
The smell
The sight
The sound, so familiar

Evening in Huntington
Old friends re-met
Current self offered with confidence
Personal and group celebration of survival

I am all that has come before
And all that will yet be
I am, the child
The teenager
The young adult
The woman grown

Pieces of Mom, Dad and Amy
Long Island
Sound and ocean
Salt water, sand, shells, rock and seaweed
All components combined

Harder than expected
Better than imagined
Home there
Then back home here

Re-aligned and whole
Deep breath



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