Thankfully, I’m not actually wearing black. It’s just the song that popped to mind when I reached around for a post title indicating my return to the flooded upper Midwest.
Dad is better. Lots better, in fact. He’s home now and improving daily. I won’t tell you anymore; because he’d be mortified to find out I’m talking about him to anyone, much less in a public forum online.
Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and love over the last ten days. I encountered so much of these that at times I was overwhelmed. I know darned good and well there are people I didn’t get back to who wrote notes, email and texted, but I have to tell you …. I practically needed a PBX system to keep up. I apologize if you’re one of the un-returned. I can’t thank everyone enough.
Re-entry into “real” life has been odd.
I spent ten days at the hospital in the desert, at my father’s house and showing the BoyRD around one of the towns I grew up in.
At one point, I realized he and I were having lunch in the very same restaurant in which I first met the folks I almost gave him up to for adoption. I probably looked like I got hit with a 2x4 upside the head. Lord knows I felt like it.
Other ghosts stomped around that town, that county, that part of the world in general.
All the times I ever drove up to Hoover Dam find solace in its massive concrete presence.
Any of the evenings I spent hanging out on the beach at Harrah’s in Laughlin with friends, solving the world’s problems.
The afternoons spent tromping around the Hualapai Mountains, escaping the heat or just getting closer to God.
The hours and hours spent futzing around the wash near our house as an elementary student.
The hospital my Dad was in is the same my son was born in. The same his father died in.
It was sobering.
Sobering to not only visit the same old places, but to finally put the feelings I had assigned them into order. I didn’t like myself when I lived there so many years ago, and my impression of that area mimicked my memories. The sobering, or clearing of my own mind, allowed me to finally put those things in the past, where they belong.
And like me, those places and things have changed, too.
Hoover now has a giant bridge over it, bypassing the Dam for those who need to get where they’re goin’ instead of braking for pedestrians, or more to the point—saving wear and tear on an extraordinary national monument.
Harrah’s feel has changed, as has the skyline we used to stare at while lying in a beach chair. I don’t know how to describe that one. Maybe it’s just because my perspective has changed.
The Hualapai’s aren’t as big as I remembered. And the park I used to drive to is now behind a fence you’ve got to pay to get into. Once I got over my initial shock, I was impressed with what they’ve done with the area. Even the teepees they erected (HA! I said, “erected”) are cool.
That old wash’s path has changed. The giant bush I used to play inside of (no, really … it had “rooms”) might just be dead. There aren’t as many rocks. There is more debris.
The hospital has added on and has an amazing VCICU staff and doctors. I’m still stunned by how impressed I was by them. That’s a thank-you note in the making, I tell ya.
I got to introduce adult BoyRD to folks who were there before I even guessed I’d have an RD to brag about, were there when he was born, and, and even after his birth as I struggled to discover and become Me.
There were texts from people far away who knew me back when. There were calls and emails from people who only know me from Fargo. All full of love. All like gifts from God himself.
And now I’m back in Fargo.
The snow is gone, replaced instead by floodwaters. Our basement is wet (nothing new; it happens every time the water table gets ridiculously high) and Amos is still a butthead.
The love carries forward, though. And for that, I am forever grateful.