I Can’t Go Home Again


I went home the other day for about 3 hours. My son Jonathan insisted that it would be ‘just the thing, Mom’ and he offered the services of his wife to drive me there and back.

It’s not a long drive—about 2 miles down the road from OC, but that day it was snowy and cold. I keep my driveway plowed and the cleaning lady employed, and of course the UPS driver delivering my online purchases is always welcome! We pulled into my driveway, across the little bridge over the creek, and up to my house, navigating easily through pristine white snow.

Lisa pushed my wheelchair up the newly installed ramp and I navigated up the step and into the house—and there I was! Home! The familiar surroundings wrapped themselves around me, and I was delighted by the new ones: the fancy step-in shower and the new temperature controls that came with the furnace. My cat, Punkin, always the lover, was happy beyond purrs. She scolded me for my absence, and I replied that it wasn’t my fault—I didn’t CHOOSE to go away for weeks and weeks, and were it not for Medicare’s ridiculous insurance programs, I would be home now.


Clearly, she didn’t understand that, and neither do I.


I spent my time retrieving my tax information from my computer so I could fill out the forms back at Orchard Creek, and once again I wondered how sick people survive without a secretary. Then I sat in my wheelchair looking out at the woods and the lace of snowy tree branches. I held my cat, who had now forgiven me for deserting her, and purred loudly. I tried to reassure her that I would be gone for quite some time again, but that she would have visitors and be well provided for.


I returned back to Orchard Creek and my room with the parrots and tropical fish and palm trees, the welcoming smell of dinner, and the blaring tv’s up and down the hall. It was a warm and familiar feeling to be back here, and I welcomed it. Best not to think about my lovely cottage, and my affectionate cat, and my orchids which deserve better care. Best not to think of my two Portuguese Water Dogs, stuck in the kennel. I can’t make going home come true, and I refuse to feed the feelings of loss and estrangement that I felt while sitting at home staring at the beautiful snow.


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